Saturday, November 24, 2012

WARNING: Your Past Has Been Passed

Absently listening as my 3 year old daughter sings along to the Barney and Friends album playing loudly through the car speakers, I entered the highway enroute to yet another destination.

As always my mind was amuck with every thought. I was far from God, trying to take "it all" on my own shoulders once again. Hesitant to stop playing Holy Ghost Junior, I had to stop for a moment to ensure our safety and check my blind spot to merge into oncoming traffic.  As I looked in my rear view mirror I noticed a beautiful sunset disappearing behind us.

I did a double take. This thing of beauty God created for all of us, right there. Stunning. Lovely. Just like Him and His uber-creativity. It must be all that Omnipotent-ness in Him that can do that!

I felt God smile, and then He gently spoke reflections of grace, showing me that many people, including myself, are coming out of a season of Harvest, of blessing.  It looks to them, as if they are now driving forward into barren land, because the fields are being rested and prepared for their next planting. They see a beautiful sunset, a beautiful time behind them and they have trouble continuing forward. After all who really prefers harsh Winters over promising and budding Springs? What we need, myself included is to find peace and rest in Him, knowing He is almighty God, and that there are better sunsets and times ahead that await us.

This walk of life is just that, a walk. One step forward at a time, in faith. Try not to take those "two steps back". Forge forward in faith. Remember, if we always pray so defensively... "God, please heal me. God, please help me. God, please deliver me. God, help these people. God, bless these people. God, please....", we lose sight and innate knowing of how Mighty, Able and Faithful He is.

What we need to do is remember upon all that He is, and praise Him. Praise Him for everything He's helped you through and delivered you from in the past.  Know that if He's done it for you before, done it for Job, done it for Mary, Lazarus and Martha, done it for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and so many others in The Bible, He'll do it for you, again and again and again. Remember, Who's beloved child you are today.  Not your earthly, limited parents, or caretakers, but God Almighty's.

When we walk in peace, hope, faith, and gratefulness for all He is, in this present moment, no matter what the circumstances dictate, He will bring us forward into a new dawning, a new harvest to be blessed with...that ceiling will become the floor! For us, beloved, the greatest part of our journey is in drawing nearer to God in relationship as we live out this one short, gift of life. It's not about what we see as we pass through.

One of my favorite songs is Moving Forward by Free Chapel/Isreal Houghton and New Breed...may it, and it's lyric, bless you today.... (copy and paste the link below into your browser)

God, we stand before you tonight. We declare that we surrender our lives to You, and You alone Father.   We acknowledge are past is passed, it's over. We declare we are moving forward with You, Lord. Jesus, please be with my friends reading this prayer. You know every wound, every joy, every fear, every dream. Heal old wounds. Heal new wounds. Rejoice alongside. Alleviate every haunting fear. Fulfill our God-sized dreams in Your timing (and help us be patient in the waiting). Help us all to see the power of Your resurrection this month and year to come. Give us eyes to see where new life springs in our hearts and our fertile soils. Rejuvenate us when we’re weak. We are not looking back.  We declare You are making all things new, and we are following You forward. Let our new sunrise greet us as we move in step with You, in faith in You, forward. We need You Jesus.

In Your Mighty, Able, Powerful, Precious Name We Pray....Amen.

Now Go....Follow Your Loving Daddy Forward into newer and better above all you can ask or think territory.  Don't look back. Just Go!

Isaiah 43:18-19 
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

Don’t be afraid to keep moving on,
For what was before, now has gone,
God wants to accomplish so much more,
But we need to move forward in the Lord.

© By M.S. Lowndes, Based on Isaiah 43:18-19

In His Love,

Amy O

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Be a Mordecai Presence In An Esther Life

Earlier this year, the Lord spoke to my heart and encouraged me to become more conscious in eating better and exercising.  

Classic stress eater and food lover, I was just not doing anything God glorifying in the area of health, fitness and wellness.

In fact I had such a voracious love of food, I developed a mighty large “food baby”, as was evidenced by my having multiple people, in multiple places ask me when I was expecting. Audacious, you ask? Of course. Did they have reason or grounds to ask? Absolutely.  I was packing a mighty large tire belly!

I was feeling pretty bummed, to be honest. It seemed a lot of work ahead of me, and with no ideas in how to start, I turned to the only person I knew in my life at that time who exhibited any self control in this area at all.  A good friend whom God had led me to years earlier, Ms. J. (As a side note…there is something to be said for praying for God ordained friends and friendships. I literally prayed this woman into my life)

This is a picture of both of us taken 1/2009

There we are.  Short of my self-induced pounds, those smiles are for real. There was A LOT of praying, standing in agreement for things in one another’s lives, and blessings and God given miracles seen and witnessed up until that point. Little did we know we hadn’t and haven't seen anything yet!  

I was much the same weight back then as I was at the beginning of this year.

Ms. J became a Mordecai in my Esther life, the day God called her into it.  She’s never stopped speaking the promises and blessings of God over me, in any area. In fact, although she’s never said it, I imagine that she was praying long before God set it in my heart and mind for me to get healthy, for me to get healthy! No doubt God showed her what He needed her to be in agreement with Him for, over me, long before He ever called me on board with the plan!

In this new journey God was calling me to this year, He used Ms. J to keep reminding me of the great call He placed on my life.  That part of it was, that I am not my own....

I was bought with a price, and the highest price at that, when Jesus purchased all of me on that cross on Calvary some thousands of years ago. If I am to house His Holy Spirit, and achieve my God given destiny, which I am still working with Him to realize, I better give Him something to work with for awhile-a healthy body vehicle!

Ms. J has continually reminded me that I would need to strengthen His temple, my body, to achieve that high call. She gave me products, resources and advice. She encouraged me in what to eat. She never quit calling me to press in and press on. She knew what I was capable of, even if and when I didn’t.

And here are the results of a Mordecai speaking into and blessing your Esther life!...

Yes. That’s my sassy, 20 + pounds lighter, more fit, self. And guess what? Those fancy clothes I have on, were a gift from none other than my Mordecai, Ms. J! God is so great in and through her!
Ms J. has never quit, and something tells me, will never quit reminding me “you were called for such a time as this!” (Esther 4:14)

My message today is simple….

Don’t limit yourself. Don’t limit God. Pray for what He wants for you. Pray for the results He desires for, in your life, in your calling, in your destiny that He has pre-ordained before the foundations of this world had even been laid!  Include Him, Your Loving Father, in everything by seeking His “plans” (Jer 29:11), purpose (Jer 1:5), Word (Isaiah 55:11) and face (Song of Solomon 2:14), always. You seek and will find, when you do it with all of your heart and all that’s within you (Jer 29:13). 

Pray for the people He wants in your life. Remember as Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron”. That goes both ways.  Get a mentor to speak into your weaknesses and be a mentor to someone else in the areas of your strength and gifting.

There is no limit to what God has in store for you. He never promised it would be easy, however He does promise it will be worth it, and He will never leave us or forsake us in it (Heb 13:5). 

Jesus is coming back for us, and we nor God can afford for us to let slip away our giftings and callings in His Kingdom.  For the sake of the souls to be saved, and encouraged. For the sake of seeing God glorified, and your children blessed, and the breaking of generational curses for eternity, seek His purpose and ordained destiny for your life, and stop at nothing to move forward in Him, with Him and for Him.

Father God,
I come before you today and ask You to bless those that are reading this.  Bless them in abundance, to the full to overflow with renewed courage, strength and faith to press on in what You are calling them to be and to do. Help them Lord, with the wisdom, discernment, and encouragement they need to move forward in what You are convicting them in. Father, thank You for entrusting us as stewards for those gifts and calls on our lives. We declare that we do not take these positions, work, and blessings for granted. We want to glorify, honor and bless You and Your Kingdom all of our days. We need You now more than ever Father. For we know as we are strengthened in our countenance to move forward into these ordained destinies and calls, that the enemy will stop at nothing to distract and prohibit us, but we know that even on his best day, he has nothing on us, because we have You! Your love, divine protection, covering and blessing. We thank You for giving unto us the people that would be our Mordecai’s in our lives, and we thank You for the privilege and opportunity to be Mordecai’s in other’s lives as well. We love You, Lord. Have all the power and authority in our lives, our hearts and minds. We choose to keep our eyes fixed on the prize and high call you have for us. We choose life in You, and for You! In Jesus Mighty and Blessed Name we pray ~ Amen!

Please keep moving forward and keep looking up, Beloved!

In His Love,
Amy O

P.S. Thank you to all of the other countless Mordecai's in my life that I had not mentioned in this post (I fear that I may have broken the internet had I tried to mention you all). You know who you are, and I'm all the more thankful to God every moment of every day for you all! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Merry As We Go Round

Can’t believe I forgot to write about this!

Back in June, my sweet daughter and I decided on a mall trip to ride the carousel there.

After finishing our carousel ride, we witnessed a grandfather-aged gentlemen taking pictures. I smiled on the inside thinking how much he must be enjoying watching his grandchildren enjoy the carousel ride. When I followed the man’s gaze to see his beloved grandchildren, I was pleasantly surprised instead to see his beloved wife. She was carefully stepping down the stairs of the upper level of the carousel after her ride with a giant smile on her face. As she reached the exit gate she proudly and happily offered her hand to the attendant to receive a carousel horse stamp. The proud mark of a happy carousel rider. She boldly and excitedly announced to her husband “I’m going to get myself another ticket and ride again!” And she did! I’m grateful and proud to say – we joined her. Her enthusiasm and zest for enjoying life in that moment was contagious. Which leads me to the point of writing today.

Jesus said to boldly come to the throne of grace. That He came that we may have and enjoy the life that He died to give us. He calls us to be salt and light in the world.

This woman’s joy was contagious that day. I imagine she exhibits joy for life that day as much as she does any other. It was amazing to be apart of her journey in that moment, and truthfully it inspired me to enjoy life alongside her. I was so blessed that Jesus divinely orchestrated our paths to cross that day. He reminded me again through this beautiful woman to enjoy the life He died to give me, more. I can often get consumed with the seriousness of life.  I have an uncanny ability to, no matter what the circumstances, be them good or bad, to see what I’m not doing, who I am not, what I am not, and what I have to improve in, rather than enjoying the blessing of life given to me at all, and knowing that every moment, and every situation is an opportunity to glorify God through my weakness, and my humanness.  Everyday The Lord is making it more clear to me to look to Him, and all He is, rather than all I am and what I “feel” myself and my life currently are not. The devil sends distractions. This enemy of our souls would love for us to focus on the temporary tests, trials, and distractions, rather than just rest in knowing God is God and He is on our side, protecting us, caring for us and loving us, despite.  Our loving Father longs for us to embrace the fact that we must not hide our lamps under bushels. That we must continue to shine so that a very lost and very hurting world can have a tangible witness and experience of how great God is and what He can do in the life of a simple person, His child. 

This lovely woman that day, didn’t have the body of a child (it took her time and effort to get on and off those carousel horses), but she had the simple joy and attitude of a child. I asked if I could take her picture on her second ride, and she happily obliged. Here she is - in all her glory!

The funny thing is, she realized after all her effort to board this horse that it wasn’t a horse that went up and down.  It just rocked. She gladly dismounted that horse and found one that gave her the full ride experience, going up and down.  She wasn’t going to waste her ticket, and neither should we! Make this life count, All! Enjoy and be blessed by it, and in it. It’s the only one you’ve got, and it’s a wisp of wind, a vapor that vanishes just as quick as it is formed. Determine today to have and enjoy it, but most of all, to bless God by embracing life and loving it and all that’s in it, good and bad, to the full!  Show everyone you know and everyone you meet, “Whom The Son sets free is free indeed!” J

Father God, Thank you for our precious lives. Thank You for Your Precious Son, who died to give us life in You, and save us from eternal pain and suffering. Instead we get to retire with You, in Heavenly places. Hallelujah! We are so grateful for You and Your Son and all that You are and all that You do to protect and bless us. Father, help us to live and enjoy our lives to the full. Help us to change our perspectives if they are negative, fault finding and gloomy. Help us to embrace the hope that is found in life and love in You. Help us to display it. Help us to glorify you, by enjoying these beautiful lives, no matter what the circumstances. Help us to be blessings because we are blessed. And as a result of all of this, help others to find you, and accept Your Son as their Lord and Savior also. Help us all to have a revelation of peace and our freedom found in and through You, today and every day.  Help us to keep our child-like joy, and faith, always, Father. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!

Many Blessings and In His Love,
Amy O

Monday, August 27, 2012

Casting Care, Moving Forward

About 4 weeks ago, in a moment of having fun with her Dad, my daughter got a button fracture on her growth plate in her knee. In order to prevent further or worse injury, the pediatrician encouraged us to have her casted in a full leg cast.

For these weeks since, she learned how to operate as near normal as possible with the cast on her straightened leg, as it healed. It was amazing to see her overcome and make use of what could have been an enormous obstacle. She could run, even jump, and play with the cast on, and it didn’t even phase her after awhile.

Then came the day, when the Dr said she was healed enough for us to remove the cast. She was sore physically, and she was sad emotionally. The ordeal to remove the cast was scary for her. There was a loud tool that caused vibration and concern for her, and then came the removal of the hard exterior cast. Then the Dr cut off the inner cast material and the feel of the trimming scissors against her skin was cold and foreign. The Dr encouraged us to not use any ace bandages or other assistance device to help her in the healing process.  He advised no physical therapy was necessary.

Despite having been healed, it’s been a number of days before our daughter has put weight on her leg, and now she is just beginning to walk, but limping, and walking similar to when she had the cast on, casting her leg out to the side. She is growing more and more sure as the days go on regarding walking and her strength, but most of all, I can see in this whole process, the adversity she’s shown, the confidence she’s gained in processes of healing and the patience these experiences have taught her. Most of all, I can see how God is using these circumstances to strengthen her resolve and resiliency for future challenges and tests. The cast was temporary as a precaution, but not forever.

Much the same way this story of physical growth has unfolded for our blessed daughter, I can “see” how God gives us similar circumstances spiritually speaking.

Just as our daughter unexpectedly and unwantingly got injured while enjoying time and life with her dad, we too have come across situations, circumstances and people whom we’ve cared about that have hurt us and wounded us. Just like with my sweet daughter, God has allowed us not to come into that situation not because He doesn’t care, but because He has the knowledge, the tools, the ultimate care and the love to help us heal, and most of the time, to even better than we were before.  After all we are His. He’s created us and formed us, even knew us before we were formed in our mother’s wombs (He reminds us in Jer 1:5)

Our tests will always lend themselves to being our testimonies. Our trials will always be what instill in us the spirit and strength for overcoming all the other nonsense that might come against us in life. Most of all the “casts” that sustain us in the healing processes, no longer serve us well after those healing processes are coming to an end. God removes that thing, and in turn He becomes our ultimate protection. After all, He is who we were are ultimately searching for and needing to begin with, He provides the rivers of living water that are the only quenchable source of wholeness for our souls and “dry bones”. Therefore, He is ever removing the defense mechanism, crutch, thing or person that holds place above or beside Him.  When that temporary comfort is removed it will feel foreign and scary, but without it removed, we will be handicapped ultimately, and never complete, walking in our utmost capacity. What’s become our safety precaution to prevent further injury, will never serve us well, and God, our ultimate physician will see to it, to help you continue on your road to healing without any “cast”.  Is God speaking to you through this today? Is there a “cast” that He’s removed from you that you’ve been fighting to have back? Have you been stagnant waiting for Him to put it back on, so you can move forward? Or will you trust that He is there to see you through to healing and in turn making the move forward with Him?

See, God often allows things to happen to us, where He asks us to cast our care. (Psalm 55:22 (AMP) Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved). He sustains us in growth and strength from and through Himself, while we heal. He gives us circumstances and situations, from which are safe places, and protective things for us to heal from hurts and pains. But when it comes time for Him to remove those things so that we can fly again, we must not fight the process of change and newness. After all, those things were only provided for us as an interim safe precaution as we grow in Him and through Him.  Remember in 2 Corinthians 5:17, it is promised, “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

The Lord will never allow anything to come upon us that’s more than we can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13) He will never allow anything to happen to us that He can’t work for good because He loves us and our very life He’s given us is a gift, yes. But not for ourselves. He chose us! (John 15:16) We are put here on this earth to be the hands and feet of our awesome Father God. He’s not promised that life wouldn’t be hard or have its ups and downs, but He’s promised He will always be with us, giving us casts, blessings, help and hope in times of hurt and healing. He’s there, the great physician, the great helper, casting, caring, cutting away the unnecessary molds when we’ve healed enough to have them removed. He’s trusting you to put weight on that wound now. He’s trusting you to move forward, knowing that while you may not have seen it actually happen, the healing has occurred, and you can trust that now, moving forward, you’ll get to remake and remold those muscles, using gifts of spirit, hope, faith and patience, long suffering and gentleness, as you be gentle with yourself in the course hereafter of rebirth and remaking a strong leg in this spirit journey. You do have a leg to stand on. You do have muscles in this limb. They simply need to be tested again. Tried again. Believed in again, to be strengthened and honed for this race. A race to which He reminds us there is a prize of a crown that will last forever… to be in relationship and Kingdom come with His blessed, able, faithful and radiant Son. (1 Corinthians 9: 24-25)

There was this quote that hung, coincidentally, on my ex-therapists wall. I always admired it, but never really did I think about it until recently, how very true it was. From Anais Nin “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was far greater than the risk it took to blossom”. I propose today…what if those rough things happened so that you could blossom? What if God needed to allow those things happen with His protective covering over you, so that you can become all you are meant to be in Him? What if your sad story is actually your freedom song? What if we actually believed Him when He says, I am working all things for the good of those who love Me and who have been called according to My purpose. (Romans 8:28). Because really? What higher honor or blessing do we have than to be the son or daughter of The King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Our lives truly aren’t our own, and they are apart of a tapestry of Kingdom calling. Without the thread of your life in this tapestry, God’s greater plan would not take shape for His love of humanity and the world, which He so loves. Have you ever seen the back of a beautiful trapestry? (funny how I just typed tapestry accidentally, right? Because that’s what the devil would have us think! That it’s a trap where we can’t be ourselves or break free and this unfeeling, enormous, uncaring God just wants to use and abuse us-but that is a lie from the father of lies-Satan!) The back of a tapestry is a beautiful mess. It’s threads all over the place, but the front, what you cannot see from the back, is a gorgeous masterpiece. So what if your thread is manipulated and intertwined a thousand ways and times for the good of the whole. You are apart of it nevertheless, and in a big way!  Trust God and His plan for the threadwork of your beautiful life, your blessed life. That you woke up today, and have a heartbeat and pulse. That is a blessing. That means that He is not done with you, He’s just getting started. That’s hope. That’s blessing. That’s meaning and definition to it’s fullest. Keep moving forward in God. He’s healing the wounds and restoring them to even better than before. But you have to give Him something to work with!

Father God, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ now Lord. I thank You for them. For your love in them. Your light. Most of all Lord I thank you that even before they were formed in their mother’s womb You knew them and set them apart and declared them prophets unto the nations. Thank You that You’ve always protected us Lord and you always will. That you never allow more than what we can bear to come upon us, but helping us to keep our eyes on what You have for us, and in turn for Your Kingdom! We want to bless You and Your Kingdom God. We want to bless your people, and we want to not just have but enjoy the lives that Your Precious Son died to give us. Jesus be the Lord of our lives. Have all the authority and power. Take Control. We give it to you. Make us more like ourselves in You. Show us Your way, Your truth and Your life. In Jesus Name. Thank you for always giving us what we need, not what we want. We trust You Lord. All our hope is in You, and You alone. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Many Blessings and In His Love,
Amy O

Friday, July 6, 2012

"Be Still"

A few weeks ago, as I was encouraging my daughter to lie down for her nap, I received another amazing lesson from Almighty God regarding our human nature, and as always, His enduring love, patience and faithfulness with us.

My daughter asked me to lie down with her.  Only she wasn't interested in resting or being at peace. She was interested in playing with her stuffed animals, singing, and talking about her day so far, and what she wanted to accomplish later.  And, as I was laying there peacefully, reminding her every so often "Be still - It's time to rest - Be still", I could feel this revelation cover over me like a blanket. It's those moments of "AHA!" where I often feel God tangibly smile. 

I saw that just as I was there reminding my daughter to be still, and to take rest as was needed, God sings over us the very same thing. Do we choose to listen to Him when He asks us to rest and be still in Him and His sovereign hands? Or, do we choose to chatter on, sing on, and go on during our day, and completely miss out on our much needed rest in Him? 

I love in Psalm 46:10, God says "Be still and know that I am God".  In Zephaniah 3:17 it says "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, he will rejoice over you with singing". 

Can you imagine? The God Who created the Heavens and Earth, and rules over all, sings over You and has His mighty arms open wide ready for you to rest in Him and with Him.  He longs to quiet You with His love! 

What if it's futile for us to keep on going about our day in our own power, strength and way?  What if in all our "No I Do It - Moments", we, just as our 2 year olds, get cranky and lose it before the days end, because we have chosen not to rest in our God, our Source of strength, power and the love it takes to not just survive, but thrive.  

This world has become a wild place. It seems merit, accomplishment and credibility are based on how much one does.  Quantity, yes, yet quality suffers as a result.  Therefore, leading to more quantity to make up for the lack of quality. Yet, the lack of quality forges on. It's a "vicious cycle".  And I believe our Spirits feel the lack of balance, the reliance on the worlds ways, and the way the world works. But, let us not forget that we are not of the world. 

Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."  To me, there is no better way to renew and refresh a soul, than some rest in God. Spend time in His Word.  Whisper a prayer or ask for direction or  instruction in a thing and wait for His still small voice to answer.  Remember, that God never answers a prayer at the same decibel level at which it is prayed. You must quiet yourself to hear Him.  Remember, it takes discipline to bring yourself to a place of rest and peace in God. Just as you are working on being more fit, or eating healthier, exercising, or practicing any thing that you want to become more skilled at, it takes time. Be kind to yourself in the journey. 

After a numerous amount of times of my gentle reminders for my daughter that day to "be still", she finally quieted down, rolled to me, and took her little sticky hands and grabbed both sides of my face, and fell asleep peacefully. It took awhile, but she was finally still, and upon waking up, was refreshed, rejuvenated, and blessed to continue on through her day. 

Take your sticky hands, and your to-do list, your shortcomings, your frustrations, your blessings, and joys, your love, hope and faith, stretch out your hands and give it all to God today. He's there, with you, rejoicing over you with singing, ready to quiet you with His love. He wants to be Your Source, Your very present help in time of need, Your resting place. Let Him. Be still in Him, and find the true refreshing and replenishment that you've been yearning and searching for! 

Blessings and Love in Christ, 
Amy O

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hurry Up and Slow Down

I had a really rough dream the other night.  I dreamt that I was in labor, but ever possible thing that could go wrong, was going wrong, and my doctor was nowhere to be found, nor my husband either.  I woke up and I was feeling really burdened, so alone, and so frustrated.

I'm not saying this dream came from God or the enemy. I don't know.  But what I can say is that this dream helped me focus my attention on the fact that, no matter what the dreams God has planted within me, that no amount of trying to attain them in my own strength is going to do me any good.  I must  succeed, but only with God. Friends, Family in Christ, Family, Angels, and Mercies are all sweet blessings, but the true treasure is growing in relationship and trust with my Heavenly Father as I take every step on the journey toward His calling for me. The dream realized isn't in an arrival, it's in the travel and the journey itself.

This morning, as I was sitting in the sanctuary at our church, talking with a dear Sister in Christ, The Lord gave me a visual illustration of this.

I suddenly saw my beautiful daughter dart through the sanctuary doors, running down the downward sloping aisle toward the platform with a half eaten apple in her hands. She was going for broke, and about 3 seconds later, my husband stepped through the door calmly and slowly walking in the same direction, calling her name, while gently reminding her to slow down. She eventually stopped and turned around and went back and took her Father's hand and they continued onto her desired destination. Slowly, safely, and together.

This illustration blew me away.  I hope it does for you too! Father God quickened me to take note of it specifically. My daughter in that moment, reminded me so much of me, and most of us, children of God.

We've been given these gifts that God has purposed in us from before Creation was formed, and we've been given these dreams and destinies in His Kingdom, and in His will, and all of it is so BIG! Bigger than we can imagine, ask or think.  We pursue headlong onto the path of life, and run wildly toward our hopes, dreams and desires within us, but we often get ahead of God, and ahead of ourselves in the process. Sometimes we even fall flat on our faces on our downward slopes toward our high callings and dreams.  We forget that with any trip, there will always need to be pitstops made along the way. Time for rest, refueling, nourishment, and let's just face it, purging and flushing.  There is no way that you can take a long journey, and not do these things, without risking death!

God showed me this morning that I need to hurry up and take His Hand and really take a look at what He's trying to show me along the journey. I think we get so caught up in doing things, that by the end of the day, we really didn't do anything. And why does accomplishing so many things on our to-do list make us feel accomplished, when really our worth and value is not in our doing, but being? As I once heard it said, "We are not human doings. We are human beings!"

I can honestly say that I make meals, clean the house, play with my daughter, work out for an hour, journal and pray, shower, prepare dinner, oversee afternoon activities, participate in church and ministry, and try and "keep up whatever Jones's" there are in my life, all in one day, and still not feel accomplished. What's the definition of insanity again? Oh that's right! Doing this same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

The problem is in trying to do all these things, I'm losing any substance in them.  There is no living in only doing. God is calling us higher, to meet him.  He wants to show us all about life. He wants us to make some pit stops along the way. There are things we've learned and are doing from a few years ago, that no longer serve us well. There are things and idols that we exalt above Him that need to be demolished, before He can bring us to our next levels. There are things to learn and know before the next steps occur.

We live in a condo. It's a good distance with some stairs and a lot of gardens and beauty before we get to the car. I always have to be sure to plan and allow a good amount of time between the door of our home and the car. Inevitably along the way, my daughter will find a million things to marvel in on the way to leave. Animals, flowers, neighbors, and ongoings will inevitably grab her attention, but what's beautiful about her, and her innocence, is that she stops and is sure to take notice, and enjoy the life that surrounds her. I love that. I am learning a thing or two from her (I think I mentioned).

I feel in my Spirit tonight that I/We need to Hurry Up and Slow Down. In the effort to live our day to day and get our to do list done, we are missing out on the life around us, and the learning opportunity within it. We are so very often running around doing, doing, we can't even really recall what we've accomplished and how far we've come. That's the major reason for the lack of peace.  (I know, like me, you feel it too!) Remember, He tells us, "Take my yolk and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in Spirit; and you will find rest. For the yolk I will give is easy, and the load I will put on you is light." (Matthew 11:29-30 TEV)

I'm sorry, but "light and easy" do not describe my "To-Do List".  Oh, but that's right. It's MINE! :-)

My husband has a way with words. Tonight he told me a lot that blew my mind, yet again. But one thing he illustrated to and told me was, "There is a difference between a hug and and holding someone."  He hugged me. A quick squeeze and release. Then he reached his arms out to me again, and he embraced me and the atmosphere changed. The meaning shifted, and I found myself blessed in the moment because, let's face it, there is nothing like a loving embrace to bless a person. But more so, there is nothing like choosing to make a moment in this life count. Our circumstances don't have to change for us to be blessed, but our awareness and perspective does!

God is available to give us that loving embrace all our days (He will never leave or forsake us), but He's never going to chase after us and remind us that He wants to. We have to stop and turn to Him to receive. We have to stop and turn to Him, in order for Him to teach us the pathways to our destinies. Our survival is guaranteed. We can never turn to Him and still exist in long life to an end. But will it be our most fruitful, blessed end? I don't think so! I think in order for anything to be truly magnificent, it must involve us choosing to let God be in it along every step of the way.

I love how in the book of Malachi, it talks about how the people who feared and esteemed the Lord, kept a book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16). I think this is simply beautiful. How many of us have come so far, not to remember how far we've come?  To remember what the Lord has said, done, and blessed us through and with, is a beautiful thing. It will help us to look upon how far we've come in the journey, and be thankful to see the Lord's hand is on us, always!

Father, please help us today, to see where You are waiting for us, longing to teach us, and bless us and grow us up into maturity in You, with You. Thank You Father, for loving us enough that You don't want us to stay the same. Help us to remember today that you didn't create a world for us to fit into, but a world for us to change through the gifts and talents that You've purposefully chosen and blessed us with for Your glory and honor Lord! Please reveal to us today Lord the next lessons in growth, so that we can keep moving forward to all that Jesus died to give us in this life and life eternal. We declare that we are open to You and all You have to show us Lord. Thank You for Your great grace, love, and peace that surpasses all understanding, Father. We are so grateful for all You are to us, in us and through us! Praise be to You Lord! Our Father and Friend. In Jesus Name. Amen!

No go, Hurry Up and Slow Down. Your Daddy is waiting with arms wide open to walk with You today!

In His Love,

Monday, June 4, 2012


Becoming a mother is the best thing that ever happened to me. Not only has it been a whirlwind of joys and blessings, but also serves as a consistent teaching platform for me. 

Lately my daughter has been shouting these 4 powerful words ("No I Do It") at me whenever she sees something she wants to do or thinks she can do all on her own. 

I love my daughter, and I want her to grow in her autonomy and independence, but not at the risk of hurting herself or others. At times it's my job to allow her to go ahead and do things she think that she can so that she can fail in my presence, where I know I can help her in the aftermath, before she tries again. Sometimes it's my job to step back and let her go it on her own. And other times, it's up to me to say a resounding "NO", despite her insistence and belief that she can or should do a thing.

I find this relationship that I have with my daughter, very reflective of my relationship with God.

One day I found myself getting overwhelmed with my daughter, after she shouted these autonomous words at me, yet again.  Then a question rose up on the inside of me. "Doesn't this sound like you sometimes, Amy? Don't your subconscious actions, thoughts and worry, exhibit this same statement to your Father God, at times?"

Sometimes out of fear or sheer determination to do something I'm facing, I attempt to do it in my own strength, and I can feel my resolve scream out "No I Do It!" My inner child asserts herself again. When will I just let go and let God take the wheel?  Just because I can't see God and tangibly feel His course correction, protection, and girding at times, doesn't mean He's not mightily at work "behind the scenes".

In fact, I can look back now on so many instances gone by in my life, and see I should have been dead or unsuccessful in a thing....But God! He's always stepped in...protecting me, guiding me, helping me and embracing me after my falls, no matter what! He's loved me at every stage of my development, and no doubt, will continue to! I'm so grateful for His unchanging opinion of me. His innate gracious and merciful love over me!

Just like I love my daughter through and through, no matter what her choices, assertions, or assumptions, God will love you and I no matter what we do, or don't do, or say.  He can never love us any more than He does now, or any less than He does now! His unconditional love, is our most perfect gift! Embrace it today. Embrace Him and His perfect will and plans (Jer 29:11) for you today, and thank Him. He's chosen you! (Jer 1:5) 

Also, I feel led to add that God quickened my Spirit the other day to Amos 3:3 where He asks, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"  I think what he was trying to say to me was that I need to get in agreement with Him! To walk in step with Him! Especially when it comes to His opinion of me. 

Our God is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  We can take Him at His word. He's consistent. Never changing. He who is rich and mercy, and because of His great love for us (Ephesians 2:4), calls us everyday into this journey of becoming more like His beloved Son, Jesus. 

As for the changes, and tumultuous scenarios of life, let us always remember that He loves us far too much to allow us to stay the same

In His Love, 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lights, Camera, Lesson!

On Friday, I was asked to record a women's event video announcement for our church.  

I attend a church that utilizes technology to its utmost in all of its endeavors. The announcements are done on a giant Jumbo-Tron screen.  

I was intimidated to step out of my comfort zone and give filming an announcement a try, but I'm so glad I did.  Out of this step of faith, God used the fella that was overseeing the filming of the announcement I was to do, to bless me greatly (and I hope you as well).

When I arrived, I was as ready as I could be.  I made sure not to wear green or stripes, as Russell (the fella) asked.  Imagine my complete surprise upon first seeing me, he asked if my white and brown patterned shirt was green.  I exclaimed, "No!".  He smiled.  He said "Oh good. I'm colorblind, so I can't tell. I'm also the lighting director here, and I'm really afraid of heights too. And I'm in charge of the announcements every week, and I'm a really terrible speller."  I was baffled. Russell has done some amazing things to improve the quality of announcements, lighting and technological connectivity at our church in a big way.  If you've ever seen one of the video's Russell creates, and how he uses folks and their talents and voice overs to create a journey, not just another video to watch, you would be astounded.  There is no way you would know he has these challenges that he's facing (as he described). God is using him to impact folks in a big way at our church, and around the world as well.  Russell went on to explain that he just has people check and double check his work a lot. Amazing! 

If you are interested, here is a clip of Russell's work (copy and paste into your browser) -

The biggest blessing of all is that God used Russell's brief testimony to encourage me. 

See, the world, in all of it's ways and false wisdoms would take a look at Russell and say, he can't do what he's doing and be good at it. The great thing about Russell is that he hasn't let the world, it's ways and definitions of success affect him or stop him from moving forward with God and His great grace, power, and strength over his life. Russell is doing what he can do and God is doing what he can't.  And Russell and God are so good as a team together that Russell can make a living off of what the world would deem his weaknesses are, and bless other people not just in his church, but all over the world. It reminds me of that scripture "He uses the weak to confound the wise" (1 Corinthians 1:27-28) 

The bible says, in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "But He said to me. My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

How beautiful is that? 

I know I am often living as if to hide my weaknesses. I don't want anyone to know where I fall short. I don't even want to take a look at where I fall short most of the time. I struggle with insecurity and, as a result of this, control issues. But, I can see how God wants me, wants us, to acknowledge what our weaknesses are. It's so we can remember that we so desperately need Him. I can try really hard to be great at something in my strength and only get so far, but when God steps in and anoints a thing, a person or an endeavor = Look Out! No holds barred! Here we go! 

He wants us to know that His grace is sufficient. What is grace? Here is how Joyce Meyer (one of my favorite bible teachers) explains it "Grace is power, and we receive the grace of God through faith. The Bible says that every man is given a measure of faith (see Romans 12:3). So instead of trying to solve our own problems, fix things or work things out, we can release our faith by trusting God to take care of them. Then God's grace-His power-comes through that channel of faith and enables us to do what we couldn't do on our own, which will amaze us and others.  So my definition of grace is: God's power coming to us freely as we put our faith in Him, enabling us to do with ease what we could never do on our own, without struggle or effort."

The enemy of our souls loves it when we get hung up on our weaknesses and sit in the distraction of what we can't do, or can't do well (according to the world's standards), and lose sight of how great our God is, and how much power and grace He bestows on those who chose to believe in Him and the power of His might and blessing.

Like me, if you get hung up on what you can't do, and what you lack strength in, then remember with me today, that we've been chosen, by an Almighty, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God, Who created the universe and who loves and cares for each one of us.  We are chosen instruments of His calling. His own handiwork and workmanship (Ephesians 2:10 AMP).

He's instilled in each of us unique giftings, talents and anointings, because he needs us to work together to create something greater than ourselves, for one another and for Him. Read Ephesians 4 (Amplified Version) when you have a moment. It's incredible at helping us to see that we have all been given different giftings, but are part of one body of Christ. There is no use being frustrated with one's lack of giftings, because that gifting is uniquely theirs, and you, likewise, have those of your own. If you are finding yourself wishing you could do something or be someway, like someone else, then STOP! You can do something that they can't, much better. 

The giftings that we see in others that are wonderful, and strong, are meant for our pleasure.  God has placed those things in that person for you to enjoy! And, He's done the same in you! So focus on your strengths, give Him your weaknesses, and lets truly start to live the lives that Jesus died to give us. He came so that we may have and enjoy our lives (John 10:10) If you don't know what your strengths and giftings are, then pray to God to reveal them to you and begin to try different things out.

Lastly, I had to laugh at the end of the taping session. I was literally in and out of there in 15 minutes.  Russell said that I was a natural and he'd probably be calling me again to do video announcements in the future. 

Funny how I may not be able to stage a performance with my desired giftings and my life, but God may have a future for me on camera! :-) I didn't know it, until I tried! 

God Bless You All! Praying you are all enjoying a safe and blessed Holiday weekend. 

Blessings and In His Love, 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"My Not So Dirty, BIG Secret"

Shhhh! I have a secret.  Do you want to know what it is? 

I have no idea what I am doing. 

Not just in a whole life encompassing sense (because this surely affects my whole life), but more specifically, I barely know what a blog is, let alone how to create, publish, and keep one. 

Why then, you ask, would I be launching a blog if I don't know what it is and am entirely afraid of such an endeavor? Here then is my next BIG secret.

Because God told me too.

So, here I am, very nervous and very hesitant to begin on this journey, but somehow entirely assured and at peace with the fact that I am making a right step. Such a conflict of emotions. I've actually been putting off His request for some time now. 
It seems to me that my fear has been driving me. I have a fear of failing. I seem to go out of my way to make sure I do everything right and am as fully prepared as humanly possible. I read a lot. In fact I read other folks' blogs, and listen to their teachings, and I think to myself how wonderful they are and how they are saying things so clearly and so well, and how I couldn't do as well as them. I fear, I doubt, and I find myself thinking of how I don't measure up most of the time. But then God sends people in my life, like my amazing husband, who's wisdom and truth are abundant, to ask reflective questions like "who's holding the measuring stick, Amy?" 

But that is just the point. When we get caught up in these thoughts, we are really not relying on and trusting in God the way we should be. Instead we are too concerned with our own abilities, and worldly definitions of success and achievement. We assume all these hopes and dreams, that God Himself has instilled in us, aren't going to work out. Yet we can read through Scripture and see all of the times where God called someone to do something that looked impossible to the world. 

When God whispered to me to begin this blog, He said "tell them about your relationship with me Amy. Tell them what I'm showing and teaching you in your everyday life".  This encourages me, because it sounds like the Call to spread the gospel, as is found in His Word. So, I am going forth. While I am hesitant to be sharing my weaknesses, imperfections and limitations openly with you all, my hope is that someone out there can relate and be encouraged to step out as God calls them to also.  

You see, God often calls people out of their self imposed boxes and restrictions, not necessarily to impact the world all the time, but impact ourselves as individuals and those nearest to us. I once heard someone say, "You don't have to leave your house to do Kingdom work", and I've never forgotten that. And I hear loud and clear in my Spirit tonight, "You don't need an agenda or a platform. You are the platform. And God is the star." It's always been about Him anyway. 

God said to me one night a few weeks ago, smack dab in the middle of a pity party I was throwing myself, "There will always be a way to fail, but I AM the only way to succeed."

So now is my opportunity to redefine "success". 

Success to me, won't be achieving popularity or profit through this blog, but is and will be in the continual stretching, learning and growing with this new endeavor God has called me to, that otherwise wouldn't of happened if I was the one ultimately in control.

Success in His eyes isn't attaining an end, it's listening for, and moving in the direction of His voice, and obeying what He's calling us to do. Because that = growing our Faith and Trust in Him. Almighty God, Our Father, Our Friend.

So somehow, under all the fear and doubt, I come to find that I am made for more than just inviting the glorious into the blessed but mundane life of a stay at home mother and wife. There is more than my trying to survive through my days and make the most of life, attempting to bless God, and His Kingdom, in the process! 

I remember always saying to myself and everyone when I first became saved, "The best is yet to come".  Now I realize that the best is yet to come not because of all that He's going to do for us, in us and through us, but because of our steady growth toward Him, and in increasing our knowledge of Who He is and Who we are in Him. We truly are and have nothing without Him. He is our everything! Drawing nearer to Him in all we are and in all we do is our reward!

Hebrews 12:1-2 

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

More of You, Less of Me, God. Thank you for this opportunity to grow in faith, hope and love in You! 

And thank you, All, for the opportunity to share with you.

Blessings and Peace, In His Love,