Sunday, September 15, 2013

Seriously? Yes! Gleaning and Growing from God through Basil…

Me? Born with a green thumb? Not so much.  I’ve been known to kill a few plants in my time, so far.

Imagine my hubs surprise when I came home from Home Depot around Spring-time, with a bag of MiracleGro Soil, and some planters. 

With a prayer and determination, I planted, and watered, and hoped, and sure enough, my Basil sprigs eventually made their way into lengthy blooming stems of green. 

And, I was overjoyed.

I loved having something thriving and green to look at, that I’d had a hand in growing, right there on my porch, every day.  It made me feel like I was accomplished, blessed, and favored. Finally, I got something with growing, right, and the “fruit” of the labor was showing in full!

While, I’ve used a few leaves here and there to add to a few dishes through out the summer, I’ve held back, actually dreadfully procrastinated, in harvesting this plant altogether.

So now, the cold weather has begun to set in.  And I’ve snapped off more end blossoms, than I care to admit. My plants growing season has come to an end. Harvest time is upon me.

In honesty, there were a few things holding me back:

I knew I needed to not let the tremendous fruit of the bounty go to waste, and I knew that the best way to do this is to make pesto.

I knew harvesting the giant plant would be tedious.  Along the way, after asking some questions, I found out that each leaf had to be plucked without the stem attached, to embark upon this pesto-making journey.

I never have made pesto before. I didn’t have, nor did I know a recipe, and I really dislike failing at something. What if I messed up and all the growing, harvesting, and pesto making was all in vain?

I really didn’t want to part with the sight of the beautiful green thriving plant on my porch, for the entire world and I, to see, every day.

I’m telling you all of this because there is a spiritual lesson to glean from it.

It is no coincidence that I lay prostrate before God earlier this week, hands open and extended, pouring out my desire for Him to take all that I am, and do His will. I want to bless nations, I want to worship in spirit and truth and be able to be the prophet unto the nations that I believe He created me to be (Jeremiah 1:5)

He has been doing a work in me. In essence I was that beautiful green thriving plant sitting on my porch, looking great, but capable of being greater (a beautiful pesto). Nourishing, blessed, enjoyed so much more greatly. 

The trouble is a harvest must take place. A pruning. A paring down. A stripping of all the leaves (things, bounty of the appearance), to reveal a far greater end.

I am wise, made in my Father’s image, and I can recognize that my soul (mind, will and emotions) does not appreciate the intensity of a stripping down of sorts, so I procrastinate, and I hold back, and I try and look good for the harvester instead, and I fight the harvesting for the greater, the better, the more. 

Don’t I realize I am created for so much more than just to be seen beautiful? 

Don’t I realize that I can be nourishment to “the body”, a blessing, a garnish, even an amplifier to other beautiful “nourishments” in the kitchen kingdom? 

Don’t I realize that to reach my full potential, I have to go through a bit of pruning and mixing up to be turned into my ultimate best?

Don’t I understand that I’m being handled by THE Master Chef, and even though I don’t know the recipe that makes me my best, He does?!

So I’m here now, determined to stop procrastinating, and be a blessing, and go through the uncomfortable process of a harvesting, so that I can become all I was intended and begun for, in the great Garden of Eden, The Master Chef’s magnum opus.  I must do my part, becoming who I am in Him, and be ready, with a willing heart, to accomplish every good thing I was planted and grown here to do.

So, here’s to the harvest, here’s to knowing that the best, my best, our best, is yet to come!

All He needs is our willingness in faith, and He will do the rest!

Just a few final thoughts…

It was never about me, it’s never about us to begin with.  Who are we to interfere with our process, ultimately interfering with Kingdom work? To guard ourselves is futile, for us, and for others who need Christ in us.  There is something in me and through me no other person, or work from another can accomplish in this world, in God’s Kingdom, in such a time as this!

His ways and thoughts are higher, no, HIGHEST! Stop trying to figure Him, or His greatness out. 

He knows every fear, He sees every tear, He knows every hearts desire, and He knows us even better than we know ourselves.  Surrender to His great mercy, goodness and love.  He works all things for good!

Matthew 9:35-38 (AMP)
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and every weakness and infirmity.
36 When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few.
38 So pray to the Lord of the harvest to [a]force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.

May He force us out of our places of comfort, mold us, and thrust us out as laborers, conduits and catalysts, in being His hands and feet, to reach the lost and the broken.  May we stop harassing, distressing, and dejecting ourselves, making ourselves helpless, believing the enemies lies, and being paralyzed because of it. May we break free of every chain, every bondage of self and the enemy and allow ourselves to be pliable to the work of God’s mighty hand and will.  May we see His goodness in the land of the living because we are not only the harvested, but also we become His harvesters, His “artisans of hope, ambassadors of reconciliation, and agents of grace”.  (~E Cho)
May God be glorified in, through and on account of us and our journeys and testimonies, no matter what lay ahead. May we know Him, trust Him, and bless Him and His Kingdom, in all ways, always! In Jesus Mighty Name. Amen!

In His Love,
Amy O

Monday, August 12, 2013

His Tree

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. ~ Psalm 1:3

There is a monumentally large tree that grows in the parking lot of our condominium complex.  I pass it everyday. 

It's stature is monumental in comparison to the other trees in proximity to it. It is a lone tree protruding from a 5x10 grass area, in the middle of a parking lot. 

This tree appears old and worn, and yet every season, it testifies to it's great health and vitality within, despite it's limited, limiting surroundings. It blooms, it drops its leaves, and re-blooms with every season. There it stands, mighty and blessed to be.

Astoundingly, it's wild to perceive what seems that the root structure of this tree alone, must hold the entire lot together, let alone the hillside on which it and the adjoining condominium structures rest. 

The trees existence and health are important to those things, people and places it is surrounding. 

I mention this today, because seeing this tree has begun me thinking on how this so readily aligns with all of us as believers and our faith walks.... 

You may not look the most beautiful outwardly, but You are alive in Christ, having all nourishment, approval, blessing, favor and love you need to not just survive, but thrive! 

Seasons bring change, but with the change of Seasons comes opportunity to adapt and thrive in the circle of God's glorious creation. Change, supply, drop your leaves, re-grow them, and just be according to the seasons. Be in tune with your surroundings, most of all to Your Heavenly Father, and Creator! As Joyce Meyer says "I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be. I'm ok and I'm on my way!"

You may not have the territory you want, but you have the territory you need. In fact, you being planted where you are, no matter the size or the circumstance, is probably the very thing holding that ground together. 

Trust that God, is ordaining every happening of your being.  Trust in His divine order. 

Trust that you've been given as a source of life, not just to sustain and be, but to provide what is needed for all around you. 

You are a gift. A provision of His grace and love. And by just existing, you reflect the handiwork of His mercy, grace and love.  You are a miracle, Set Apart! 

He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. ~ Isaiah 44:14

If you are going through so much right now, rest assured, He's planted you beside His rivers of Living Water, and the rain is nourishing you now to restoration and redemption unlike you can even dare ask or think! You need only trust Him. "Be it unto according to your faith", He says! 

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. ~ Isaiah 60:13

You are apart of a gloriously made, God ordained whole.  You matter, as does everyone and everything around you. All working together as one body, we glorify The One Who is called Yahweh. The Great "I Am".  

You are not your own. Your life and existence are not Your own to do with what You will, when and how you will. You are a cherished, favored, beloved, ordained and chosen creation of the Most High God.  May you continue to remain planted on the foundation of His promises, His Word, and continue to be founded on, grow in, and be fruitful in all that He has called you to...persons, places and things! 

To Him be the glory, honor and praise - Forever and ever! 

A prayer for us today...

Father, Thank You for my beloved brethren.  Thank You for each and every one of them as they draw nearer unto You. Father, grant them Your peace, Your serenity, Your favor, Your blessing and let them feel the "MiracleGrow" of Your love fertilizing the very ground that they are growing from. 

Whether mountain or valley, hillside or plain, rock cliff or grassy oasis, they reside, help them to marvel in the truth that they originate from, are sustained by, and are testament to the mighty works of Your hands, and the faithfulness and able-ness by which you tend all. 

Help them Lord, today, that they may further see their intrinsic value to this great whole, Your Body, in which we move and have our being. Let them see their intrinsic necessity to the delicate ecosystem of Your great Plan, in which You've chosen to plant them. And let the hope that waters that plan, rain down now afresh and anew.

May scales fall from eyes and we truly see in the Spirit, the blessing and glory given when we just be in You and from You, and do as You've created us to.  Fear, cease. Hope, rise.

Clarify these things for us today God.  That which You intend for us. Help us to become aware of the reverberations of our obedience in purpose, and help us to know intrinsically and solidly, what each of our purposes are.  

May we continue to stand bold, strong and courageous in You and the power of Your might, pressing on to the high calling and prize that is in You. That is You, Jesus. 

Thank you for the life offered us and the great purpose bestowed on us at all, because of Your great sacrifice and love, Lord. 

May we continue to live our lives as a thank You to You Lord, for all You've done. Let us live lives that are poured out for You, God. For we want lives that not just look good, but are good, Father. Shake our foundations today, that we may know it is from You, through You, in You and for You we are, and will be.  

We love You Lord, and re-dedicate ourselves today, not in the pursuit of fixating on the negative aspects of our individual situations, but on the truth that You are with us, and will never leave us or forsake us, and all we are, all we hope for and all we long to be, and do is found on the foundations of Your love, Your way, Your truth and Your life. May we look to You, our Hero, defender of our souls, and Master Tender. 

In Jesus Name I Pray. Amen and Amen! 

God Bless you Brothers and Sisters. Keep Moving Forward and Keep Looking Up! 

In His Love, 

Amy O

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Complete & Finished Work

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. ~ Isaiah 64:8

Last Saturday, I brought my daughter to enjoy a birthday celebration with one of her friends.
The party was held at a pottery painting studio.

My daughter picked a beautiful spotless princess off of the shelf, and after listening to the instructions proceeded to paint her princess in all shades of beautiful colors.  She was so proud of her creation. She chose each color so carefully. She covered every space, so there was no untouched areas.  She placed her princess on a shelf to dry with the utmost care and pride, and would glance at it continually with a look of utmost approval and satisfaction.

I had wondered at one point, why her, as well of these other works of art by the kids were not being placed in the kiln. And by the end of the party, was told, that we would not be taking the princess home that day. It takes 7-10 days for this beautiful painted creation to go through a refining and completed process, wherein it will be glossy, finished, and ready for presenting.

I tell this story, because it is a good reminder.

So often I can get frustrated with God and His timing. While I trust Him, that He is sovereign, and knows my every need. So often, I mistake my wants for needs, and my wants never align with my needs.

In Isaiah 55:8, The Lord says, 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my  ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.”

We look around and we see the works of His hands. The majestic beauty of creation, the timeless portraits of beauty painted in the sky through sunrise, sunset and even storm.  The glorious myriad of species, animals, plants, all touting the glory of God. Even the rocks cry out His praise. Are we not more valuable than these? (Matthew 6:26)

Yet we, we His people, we cry out complaint, frustration, and stress. We quip at dreams not achieved yet, children not behaving yet, spouses not arriving or cooperating yet, bills not paid yet, errands not run yet, and all that we think we are not and have not, yet. And there is no time, never enough time. (But what about His perfect ways, will and timing? Do we forget He is sovereign?) 

And then we get frustrated, oh so frustrated with those around us, we blame and point fingers, and run, oh how we run.  We run until exhausted, weep and cry out to God... “where are You? Do you not care?”

And He answers, “You are my beloved children upon whom my favor rests. My ways are higher. My thoughts are higher. My plans are to prosper, not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Hope in your final outcome (Jeremiah 29:11) Trust me. I will never leave or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)” 

Do we not see? How He has so beautifully created all that is in the world, don’t we see ourselves included in this, In Him? And in this, we are set apart! Don't we in this, entrust and hope in that we are all the more who He tells us we are...

fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)
”the apple of His eye.” (Psalm 17)
”His treasured possession.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)

As I was writing back to a beloved sister and friend this week the following words poured out, and I believe they are not just for her but for all of us to receive and ruminate on...

If you could only see who you are through the eyes of Christ! If you could only see what your fellow Christ-family and your beautiful God-given family see. 

You are so much more than the enemy would have you believing! And praises that you are pressing into God in your time in the valley. That’s what the Christian walk is all about. Drawing near to Him, and in that, in Him, we find all we need. 

I am standing today believing God for His peace that surpasses all understanding to flood into you and sing over you (Zephaniah 3:17) be blessed beloved, faithful, strong, capable, peace- filled, joy-filled child of God. 

May the storm within cease and the new day dawn revealing the promise that He is the potter and you are the clay. He, the most skilled and glorious potter never leaves a masterpiece undone. And even when the clay has crumpled into an utter mess and ball again on the potters wheel, we can still be molded to beauty. 

And that clay which once was a lump on the potters wheel, through the refining fires of flame, will become a beautiful finished masterpiece. Sculpted, painted, re-worked, fine-chiseled, covered in protected finish, all taking a great deal of effort, energy and time. Finally the finished work is called to resting in the most prominent place in the potters house.  

You’ve always been the apple of His eye no matter what else you were told or who told it to you! 

Be blessed to know today that He loves you so much He’s set you apart and he will set you on a stand, because of your willing heart. 

That’s just it. He’s whispering to us today...”just bring your willingness, no matter how unworthy you feel. I will do the rest”. 

He is faithful. He is sovereign, over all. Overseeing all! In authority over all. The Master Potter. 

The faithful Friend and Father who tenderly oversees every detail of one’s finished outcome. Not just in the mother’s womb, but in the womb of the world. 

You are a masterly constructed glorious work and beloved child of the most high God! Praise Him! For His best is coming! And I know that’s above all we can dare ask or think! (Ephesians 3:20) 

Just bring your willingness. Doing what you can, even if that’s just trusting Him each minute, and He will do the rest! REST! Rest in Him. 

You are beautiful, made of God, from Him. 

You go through this process of creation in maturation of spirit, body, mind and truth, so you can bless others through their own. 

We are all connected. All blessed. All beloved. 

Let’s purpose today to love ourselves and others in and through the Father’s eyes. Let’s love one another as we all go through, so we can bless one another through it all! His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10)

Blessings, Peace, Joy and Favor Be Upon You and Your Beloved Today, Brothers and Sisters,

Remember, All is Grace (Ann Voskamp)

In His Love, Amy O

Father, Thank you for my beloved brothers and sisters. Father would you tenderly reveal Yourself to them today, would You tenderly speak over them Your songs of love and peace. Would you comfort them with the quiet of Your loving arms, embracing them as they go through their storm and trial. Would you bless them with all things beautiful as they go through their seasons of rest in You. And Father, help us to trust. Help us to continue to draw near unto You, the author and finisher of our faith. For we trust that You who has begun a great work in and through us, will see it through to it’s glorious completion, because it is Your Great Work! We are Your great work! And You are at work within us when we confess and believe Your Son our Savior. Thank you, Father! For loving us so. Thank you Jesus for all You are, and all You’ve finished up on the cross. May we see that all of the works of Your will and your higher ways always are for good, and always for the greatest and most glorious blessing of all whom You are touching in and through them! May we be loved today, knowing that we don’t earn these honors and privileges of being your chosen ones, but we rest in the promise of just being and belonging to The One who Is! Jahweh! In Jesus Mighty and Blessed Name I Pray This. Amen.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"In God We Trust" - Happy Independence Day, All!

Yes, this, today and everyday, this...

"In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise - in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
- Psalm 56:10-11 (NIV)

Intro Psalm 56:10-11 {Toby McKeehan of dc Talk}

Sunrise over the mountain of freedom
As we are living and breathing
Counting the blessings that fall on us all
We go down into the valley before us
Singing and shouting our chorus
Donning the Armor of Light
That we're leaning on {Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith}

For we know that we are nothing without it, oh yeah
Overall, under Him we make our stand {Rachel Lampa}

In God we trust
For He is faithful
We put our hope in Him alone
Through any valley
God will sustain us
Until the day He brings us home {Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Rachel Lampa, Jaci Velasquez, Steven Curtis Chapman}

So long, long is the road that we walk on
On every journey we stay strong
If we are believers in love and the power of His hand now
We can endure anything now
We know in our hearts He is here now
Lovingly, mercifully
Watching over us all {Steven Curtis Chapman, Crystal Lewis}

When we're falling only He can save us, oh yeah
If we follow, He will surely lead us on {Jaci Velasquez}

In God we trust
For He is faithful
We put our hope in Him alone
Through any valley
God will sustain us
Until the day He brings us home {Mark Stewart of Audio Adrenaline, Janna Potter of Avalon}

Lay down
Lay down your troubles now
Lay down
Lay them down {dc Talk - Michael Tait, Kevin Max, Toby McKeehan}

In God we trust
For He is faithful
We put our hope in Him alone
Through any valley
God will sustain us
Until the day He brings us home {Anointed - Da'Dra and Steve Crawford}

Outro Ad Libs {Selah - Nicole and Todd Smith; Russ Lee; Anointed}

Took this photo while out on my morning walk today! God Bless you and yours on this Independence Day and every day! 

In His Love ~ Amy

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Of His Love? Reflections on God's Love For You...

When we get a revelation of the Father's love for us, every fear is washed away, our strength is renewed, every impossibility becomes possible, and grace Himself gives peace to our hearts and minds...All because He loves you. ~ Amy Elizabeth Billings

Did you take time to reflect today on Jesus' amazing love for you? Have you believed in your heart, or just confessed with your lips "He loves me" today?

Like the song, by David Crowder "How He Loves", says...He is jealous for you. He loves like a hurricane, and you're a tree that's growing and residing by His rivers of living water. 

We ever grow, ebb, prosper and bend beneath the weight of His great love, mercy and grace. And we really don't have time to maintain any regrets or do it all on our own, in our own strength, when we trust in, believe in and be blessed through His great love for us! You can only love as well as you know your Father and His great love. He is love. He loves you!

Please take a moment to listen to this song by Christy Nockels today, and reflect on the love of Your Heavenly Father for you....

Lyrics to "Be Loved" by Christy Nockels

have you ever let yourself be loved by the One who made you?
have you ever told your soul to believe that His heart is on your side?
you could even try to run away but there is nothing you can do
so just be loved, be loved, He loves you
just be loved, be loved, He loves you

have you ever let yourself be held by the One who holds this world?
have you ever told your soul to rejoice that His arms are open wide?
you could even try to run away but He’d come running after you
so just be held, be held, He holds you
just be held, be held, He holds you

we didn’t earn it, He just chose to give it, and its in our resting that we rise up singing rejoice, again I say rejoice
rejoice, again I say rejoice

you are loved, be loved, He loves you
you are loved, be loved, He loves you

you are loved, be loved, He loves you
just be loved, be loved, He loves you

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lessons From The Dentist & Jesus

What started out as an ordinary dental check up turned into a spiritual and life lesson…

As the dentist was showing him how he should be brushing his teeth, the pressure to use the stroking motion, the man replied, “But, I don’t feel like I’m doing enough”.  “Precisely!” exclaimed the Dentist.  “You’ve been doing too much, and as a result, your gum line is receding terribly.  All you need to do is be consistent, gentle and thorough. “

Amen and Amen! What if that were it?

What if we stopped trying to do to succeed and accomplish, but risking ruining present goodness?

What if we remained consistent, gentle and thorough, and were doing more than enough?

It doesn’t matter that the rest of the world is in a wild “Rat Race”.  

My husband, the same man in that dentist chair that day, said tonight, “There is strength in numbers, yes, but there is no faith.  Don’t do what everyone else is doing, just for the sake of being apart, but do what God is calling you to do, and have peace in that”.

What if God is just calling us to not go all out, all the time, but just remain consistent, gentle and thorough in all areas of our lives? Couldn’t you just feel the joy arising in you in this moment to think it?

We will never arrive, so what are we striving so hard for?

Rest. Be. Go for a walk outdoors on your lunch break. Take your shoes off and walk in the grass barefoot.  Ride on a rollercoaster. Sit with a book. A steaming cup of coffee or tea. Let the dishes in the sink be, and just go and sit with your family, and enjoy the present of the present! See those faces, alive and well.  Dream together. Play together. Be together. Enjoy this life that Jesus died to give you, because, Hallelujah, you have it! That’s more than some can say in this moment.

No amount of striving, accomplishing and succeeding can prove what you already are…a beloved, and blessed child of the Most High God.  He adores you, even if you never did another thing, and His is the only opinion and blessing that matters, anyway! The rest is just icing!  Now go eat that cake! 

In His Love, 
Amy O

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On Your Remarks, Reset...Go!

We finally got to the car, and on our way. My harsh tone and hurrying words still hung in the air. 

How is you can be minutes from an awakening to life and breath, new mercies and new day, (Lamentations 3:22-23) filled with God's limitless compassion, yet still choose to be and do so much of the "old you" that includes none of that/His wonder and beauty? 

Her beautiful, clear blue eyes looked out the window taking in the world and the glories of God in it. (Isaiah 6:3) His glory standing out before her, but in me, through me, through my words and actions, can she behold any of His glory?

It’s a simple question and my eyes well up.  It seems the only question that continually keeps coming up for me.  And in this, I know God is stretching me again. Stretching, growing, directing, loving me forward, because, He loves me too much to leave me the same.  When will that revelation ever stick?

I pray often, “God help me to be a blessing to You and Your Kingdom.” And, maybe in one of these opportune moments, I will stop and re-think my go-to emotions, reactions, words, and tone, and remind myself that the very platform to change the world I’ve been asking for all along, is not the one in my grand vision, but the very place He’s given unto me that I abide in day in and day out, right now. In my home. With my family.

Every moment He has given, and gives, is an opportunity to do just this…glorify Him. I have a choice to live more like Him, in every moment. Because that is where He is. In the moment.  Ever my refuge and strength. My very present help in time of need.  (Psalm 46:1) 

Every moment I need Him.

My weaknesses may be abundant. But this is actually hopeful. Because He says “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

And there it is, the greatest truth…in needing Him, I am strong. 

And there in the car, before we got to our destination, before another moment passed, His still small voice whispering, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. I am near”. (Philippians 4:5), I claimed a victory for my Savior, whom I long to glorify so! 

For above all the appointments, feelings, places, problems, and fears, there is one thing that must ring clear above all of the worldly distraction. This is The Lord proclaiming, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)

And I stammered, but said, “Beloved.  God just showed me that I haven’t been nice. He’s asking me to be nicer. Please forgive me?”  Because what good is it to tell her to be nice and to be a blessing, if she doesn’t know that God with us, above me, doesn’t hold me accountable too? If He loves me to it, so I must also love her through it!

She looked at me in the rear view mirror. Between glances, I could feel the grace and love of God pierce through me, with those beautiful eyes. She looked into my spirit, and forgave. Fresh from Heaven and Grace Himself, she loves freely.  And I think sometimes those clear blue eyes can see eternity still.   

My God, He’s showing me how to live through her.  There is so much to learn from this beautiful child of God. To dance, to laugh, to sing, to shout, to run, to play, but mostly to love.  Her highest priorities are His. And so mine must be!

And to forgive myself and move forward in Him and With Him…Well, it must be done. Every moment is an opportunity to choose better, to exercise the fruit of the spirit to greater strength within me.  Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control (Galatians 5:22-23). 

He is these. He is in me. I have Christ in me. I can be more like Christ in me. 

And I leave you with God’s Word from 1 Thessalonians 5 to encourage you as you move forward and keep looking up, Ya’ll. Be blessed! You are His Beloved, In Whom He is well pleased!

Love in Him,
Amy O

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awak or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing....but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else...Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.

P.S. Later that same day....

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dream, Dream, Now Go!

So…I’ve been fearful (yes - seems to be a pattern). And yes, it’s caused me to be in distraction and procrastination – for a long time.

But then God has sent me pretty big messages yesterday, and He brought me back to these words, a number of times.  As I lay in bed last night and shared these words with my husband, tears began to flow down, as I realized how very much they applied….

The biggest thieves to the fulfillment of your dreams are the distractions that come your way. Your vision has to be compelling enough to cause you to run with it. It requires organizing every routine around the vision as your central focus. Failure to do so will cause the vision to die in the dream stage because activities that do not contribute to the achievement of your vision will keep you from your destination. ~ Dr Mark Chironna

"It’s very important to know where the line is between faith and presumption. Go and stand as close to that line as possible. Some of us are so scared of being presumptuous that the place where we’re occupying is really a place of unbelief. There’s territory in, around and in front of you that belongs to you but you’re not occupying it because you’re scared of making a mistake. God is not worried about your presumption. He’s concerned about your unbelief." ~Graham Cooke

Listening to music and an enlightening thought occurs to me: God does not see me the way I do. I can be such a mess. I am chaotic. I am restless. I am random. And wandering. But He sees order. He sees purpose. He sees perfection and pure love. And just like that, I am once again in awe of my Creator. Forgiven. Beloved. Hidden in Christ. Made in the image of the Giver of Life. Righteous and holy. Reborn and remade. Accepted and worthy, this is my new name.  ~ Godstrong Women

Wow! These, such words of wisdom calling to me in my self-imposed rut. Providing a light in the darkness, which I’ve chosen to surround myself with.  It reminds me of the quote from Anais Nin “And the day came where the risk to remain tight in a bud became far greater than the risk it took to blossom.” That describes me on the precipice of this step forward in God. How about you?

As you can see, it’s been pretty quiet here on the blog and on the writing front lately. I lost confidence in my ability to write and bring God glory. It always seems someone has always “said it better”.  Despite those around me encouraging me to write, and affirming how much it blesses them, I still chose not to move forward in what God was calling me to. There will always be a reason or excuse not to.  Writing doesn’t come easily for me.  It seems almost painstaking to put together a post. But I realize if God is calling me to do it, than who am I to not.  Even the Olympic athlete spends years and life perfecting their skills and crafts.  Do we not realize that once God delivers us from our Egypts, there is a desert experience for a time, yes, but there IS a promised land.  We can all choose to remain, or just go move forward. Even if we circle the mountain a few times or a few years, the Promised Land is still there. Promised. Waiting for us. We just need to make the choice to step in (and yes up to the chest sometimes) But blessing will come! Because there is something for only you to be and do for Jesus in the life.  One of my favorite lines in the movie Lord of the Rings is when Galadriel says “This task has been appointed to you, if you do not find a way, no one will”.  And Gandalf echoes as well “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us”.  Our God says in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].” He also says in Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
So here I go….

I’ve named my 2013 year.  “FOCUS”.  I will be focusing on writing. I will be focusing on growing more in Christ, and pursuing a revelation of His love for me, and living and breathing out of that love. 

He’s tasked me to be encouraging people through a ministry page on FaceBook.

Keep Looking Up – Encouragement for Everyone. Here is the link:

Additionally, I will be beginning a Praise & Coffee Night Bible Study for Women at my home in Danbury, CT this month. Please contact me if you are interested in attending. 

All so very exciting, even though my boots are a-shaking with nervousness on embarking on all of these new faith-propelled endeavors.  May God’s grace, peace and blessing be over all as we move forward confidently in the direction of our dreams, with Him and For Him! For we were all born for such a time as this!  

Father God,
Thank you for the blessed, Holy Spirit-led, anointed and hopeful dreams You’ve given unto each one of us. Father, Thank You for blessing us forward into these unknowns and unchartered territories, even desert looking places at times. We declare we move forward with our eyes on Jesus, committing ourselves unto Him, and glorifying Him and Him alone, and blessing Your Kingdom and Your people. Lord, more of You, less of us, always!  Father, go before us, making ways in the wildernesses and streams in the deserts. Sing over us songs of peace and love as we embark in these territories toward the Promised lands of our dreams that You’ve ordained before time and the world even began in You and Your Word! Thank You for great revelation, for every tool and blessing, for every trial that strengthens, for every wind that blows to strengthen our roots in the One True Vine, You, oh Lord! We declare that we will do mighty things for You and Your glory. We declare that we will make a difference, by being the difference and we are moving forward in faith and confidence in You, Sovereign, Able, Mighty, Gracious, Loving, Caring, Faithful God and Father.
In Jesus Mighty Name. Amen!

Be blessed, Beautiful Children of God,
In His Love ~
Amy O