Monday, August 4, 2014

Lessons From My 4 Year Old

Before my husband leaves for work everyday, He exchanges "I love you's" and "I'll miss you's" and then asks my daughter and I if there is anything he can get for us, or do for us before he returns home.  (And Yes! I do realize how I am blessed!)

Our daughter always obliges with utmost enthusiasm to this question, and today was no exception. 

She requested a chocolate topped donut with sprinkles.  And we went on our way for the day. 

At one point during our day, we happened by a donut shop to retrieve a blessing for someone else, and I offered, at that point, to get our girl her donut. 

She refused my offer, saying, "Daddy will get it for me, Mama", with all gusto and belief in the world, of that fact. 

As I reflected upon this, I realized some spiritual truth and correlation.... 

Do we trust that God will provide what we've asked Him for? 
Are we willing to wait for His when, will and timing? 
Are we willing to wait for Him to provide it to us, and not someone or something else to provide it?

God wants us to believe Him. Trust with and in faith as small child that He will deliver what our hearts desire is, and know that He always comes through for us!

Matthew 18:2-4
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Don't settle. Wait on Him. He won't disappoint. 

He will ever provide. 
He will ever look after you. 

Romans 8:32
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Go In His Love Today, Beloved Ones ~ And Rest in His promise, in faith, like that of a child....His child!

~ Amy O

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Morning Rev

I woke up today with a out, shower, time with God, email reduction, make breakfast, send hubs off, etc.....

If there is one thing I know, it's that God has a funny way of standing our plans on their noses! Love Him for it too!

This morning went so differently than I planned, and I'm so glad it did.

I won't be working out today.
Instead, I got to text with a friend, and beloved mentor.
I got to hug my daughter for a minute (she's normally stand-offish with me in the morning, so this is a rare gift)
I got to sit, pray for Ya'll, write to Ya'll, and I got to spend a few intentional minutes with God, taking in His beauty and creation song.

I came across this, in the Word too, and I knew I had to share it (it's just plain slaying me right now - how "on time" this Word is). 

May you be blessed, as I was, and set right, as I was, in starting the day, and the rest of the week to come, in and through it!...

1 Timothy 6 (MSG).....

6-8 A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough....

11-12 But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.

18-19 .... Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.

20-21 And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.

Overwhelming grace keep you!

Indeed! His grace is sufficient! He is more than enough, and You, Beloveds, are more than conquerors in and through Him! Take this truth and fact with you as you begin this work week! 

In His Love ~ Amy O xo

This life is a gift...take hold of, treasure it and by God's will and means....ENJOY IT! (Preaching to myself now too!) :-)  .....




"I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."(Revelation 3:8, NKJV)


A child of God, saved by grace, alive to God and dead to sin, sanctified, a new creation, reconciled to God, free, justified, chosen, adopted by God, accepted, forgiven, predestined, raised and seated in heavenly realms, created for good works, called to eternal glory, more than a conqueror, an overcomer, never forsaken . . . (~ Christine Caine)

YOU ARE the righteousness of God in Christ!
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (Romans 3:22) 

And one step at a time WITH HIM, FOR HIM, IN HIM.....

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

His Grace Is Sufficient! By grace, through faith, we are changed and everything changes!....

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8, NKJV)

He's commissioned You to do greater things....

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12, NKJV).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

He Is - "I Am"

I had the privilege of going to worship last night amongst brothers and sisters in NYC, with Kim Walker Smith and Kristene Dimarco of Jesus Culture as the worship leaders. One thing that Kristene sang unto God, was "We believe who You say You Are!". The room, and my heart and spirit erupted in agreement. Yes. Exactly. 

No matter what we are going through today. No matter what's coming against us, acting as a really pressing matter, or a "thorn in the flesh", may we believe God, and Who He says He is!

Because when we really believe Him. When we believe in the God of All, the God of Miracles, the God of our Salvation, the God Who Was and Is And Is to Come....It doesn't matter if the relief comes, or things "it"/"they" change/s, because He is truly all we need. Of course, He answers every prayer. It may not be in the timing we desire, or the way we hoped, but all our hope should be in Him to know what we need, and not what we want!

This excerpt from Exodus 3, speaks so greatly to my heart this morning, and what I am attempting in exhorting/reminding us of....

12 God said, I will surely be with you; and this shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.

13 And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?

14 And God said to Moses, I Am Who I Am and What I Am, and I Will Be What I Will Be; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I Am has sent me to you!

15 God said also to Moses, This shall you say to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you! This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations.

May Your perception of the Greatness of Your God become over-abundant today.

May His Love overwhelm and assure Your aching, longing heart.

May His Peace, surpass every understanding, and take root in your Spirit assuring you of His steadfast faithfulness.

May His Joy overwhelm You, in abundance, to the full, to overflowing, that You may share Him with All whose lives He blesses you to be touching.

May His Justice overwhelm You, and You stand up to be an Artisan of Hope, Ambassador of Reconciliation, and Agent of Grace. (~ E Cho)

May His Fire, Set within Your soul, and May Your desire of more of Him lead you to more than you can dare ask or think.

May You take hold of this truth today.....I’m just one, but I’m one with The One who made heaven and earth. And nothing is impossible for the one who has The One!

"Now arise in the fullness of your union with our Lord." Philippians 4:1 TPT

God Bless you, Beloved Ones!

In His Love and Ever and Only By His Grace ~ Amy O

If you've not ever accepted Jesus as Your Lord, please reach out to me, through the "contact" section. I want to pray with you! 

Here's some relevant worship songs I felt led to share that go along with this encouragement....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Feeling Powerless Today? Giving Is The Best Medicine!

I couldn't think of a more worthy causes to give to today....My heart is aching. I may be one, but I can do something....So can you! God answers prayers, through His people! And we heal ourselves as we give unto others! Love wins! 

Searching for a meaningful Mother's Day gift? The best things in life aren't things! Honor a mother by helping to create change in the lives of hundreds of women and children in need. In 2014 Education and Hope is providing scholarships to 212 children and young adults. Over 100 students now attend our after school program where they receive hot meals, tutoring, showers, medical care and love in a family-centered environment. Education and Hope is proud to provide stable employment to 46 people, many of whom are single mothers, the sole source of income for their family. Our support is having a tremendous positive impact on hundreds of lives. Make a secure online gift on our website and include a note in the comment section to let us know who we can send an acknowledgment to, via notecard or email. The blog post below will give you an idea of what your donation amount means to our program. Thank you for being a part of our important work!

A Prayer and Blessing for Today

May God speak peace to your soul and calm to your storm. May you sense His nearness even when the winds blow. May you know His joy and strength from the top of your head to the tips your toes. May the hope He stirs in your heart cause you to live with a holy expectancy and trust that this storm too shall pass. And, in the days ahead, may His very real love for you compel you to dance in the rain before the sun breaks through. He goes before you, He's got your back, and He's there, just around the bend. He'll never forsake you. May you entrust your whole soul to Him tonight/today! ~ Susie Larson

Father ~ May it be well with us. No matter what things look like. Be with us in triumph and in trial. Help us to keep moving forward with hope and keep looking up with gratitude! Help us to ever remember that the wind and the waves still know Your Name. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Personal Testimony and a Reflection on Resting in God

Hi, I’m Amy. And, I have trust and abandonment issues.

My biological father was a troubled, angry, problem-laden, hurting man, from what I understand.  And, it’s by God’s grace that I survived my first few years. 

My mom was a scared 16 year old, when she had me. I know she always did the best she could to protect and provide for me. Looking back, I’m so grateful she had the sense of mind she did, despite all she was going through (most of which I’ll never truly know of, I’m sure). 

Eventually, my mom would meet and marry a good, hard-working man, who endeavored to love and legally adopt me.  My biological father never showed up to contest it.  In fact, I didn’t see him after the age of four, I think. I believe God to be convicting his heart, even then, despite him not knowing God, yet.  (I pray he knows Him now) I believe by choosing not to be present, my biological father was choosing to try and give me a better/the best life. 

But it’s a hard thing, you know.  A soul knows abandonment and rejection even when not old enough to comprehend it.  I’ve been battling with the abandonment, and ineptness of flesh and blood, for so long. But, as a wise friend once said, “Sometimes the best example is what not to do”.  There is truth and fuel in this.

Raised Roman Catholic, I believed in God, but I was far from Him in relationship.  I was truly saved in high school.

A wildly vibrant blond gal in my class simply known as the resident “Jesus Freak” (will ever be thankful to God for her) invited me to her Baptist youth group meeting, and I loved it. I don’t remember the exact moment or day I became saved, but I know I believed in Jesus, and I know I prayed the sinner’s prayer, and I know I believed and was very grateful for His saving grace, then.  More prominently, I remember being wildly torn about fitting in to the in crowd, but wanting desperately to stay in God’s will, out of sin. All of my friends up to the point were sexually active and drug and alcohol curious and pursuant. 

It was a terrible battle. There was such a God-sized hole in my soul. I wish I had the strength then to choose to be filled by Him and Him alone, no matter the persecution I feared it would have brought.  Wanting to be wanted can truly drive one to doing the most futile things, and stay around the other hurting ones/people.

I ended up graduating and heading off to college in Rhode Island.  I chose the only thing aside from singing that I was being recognized for, and receiving positive feedback for… riding horses. And with that, my spirit crying out and sensing my poor decisions and misdirection, I chose to lose myself entirely to a life of sin, addiction, and self-sabotage.  Those were incredibly lonely years.

I worked and went to school all the time. Working hard became a covering for what was really going on. No amount of money made, or time spent making it, could fix that hole in my soul.  That need to be needed, that need to be wanted, that need to be loved.  It’s shuddering, however, what the soul believes is love and life, in the midst of utter junk that it chooses.

I eventually was chosen to study a year abroad in Holland. It was there that the ugliest of turns was taken, and I chose to enter an adulterous relationship.

Upon returning from Holland, I was in the worst of ways. A scared, lonely, confused woman living as if a child, back in her parents home, now needing to become apart of the “real world”, yet so longing to be detached from anything having to do with such an ugly world.

I found a job training horses in Pawling, NY, which eventually lent itself to me job-hopping until I found myself in Florida. It was always one excuse or another, but I really was always just trying to escape. Later I would realize that it was myself that was the inescapable constant.  

I accepted the devil’s lies. I believed that I wasn’t good enough. Nobody wanted me. Nobody loved me. I was never going to succeed. I was a failure. I was a nobody, from nowhere, bound to do nothing.  I lost myself to physical relationships with men, thinking that if I could just give men what they wanted, eventually someone would choose to keep me around for my willingness to meet their physical needs and desires. The only time I ever talked to God was to beg Him for me not to get pregnant.  I wanted to be married and begin a life with someone, one day.  In my mind, even if someone did choose me, I believed I would never really know what true love is. Love as I knew it, was a battlefield of misuse, and manipulation.

I remember being so overwhelmed, and so at my wit’s end, that one night while doing a security night check at the horse barn, I began crying uncontrollably and sank to the floor, barely able to breath. I had a cousin, just days before, give me the number to her therapist, whom she said was an excellent one; and I pulled up the number on my phone, and at 11PM at night, I dialed it, and she answered. And an appointment was set. Years of therapy with this woman would become a catalyst to helping me deal with much of the pain I was carrying, and also be a blessing to what God is showing me is becoming a ministry. (God makes ways)

But, the fact remained…. I was angry, and while in so much anguish one day, while riding a horse that I was to train for sale, I got angry with her, and the horse checked out and reared and fell over backwards on the both of us; and my leg was broken.  And suddenly I found myself, unable to “work”. I was forced to rest and reflect. To stop the incessant movement was near torture.  Broken tibia. Broken hand. Broken heart. Broken life. I was at rock bottom.  I really thought I was dead, and if I wasn’t, I wanted to be.  But God….

It just so happened that I had taken a side job, which was to start in a few days following this incident. You see, it wasn’t an accident. What the enemy intends for evil, God always intends for good.  God makes ways…

I was to stay overnight with the kids from a family originally out of Wisconsin, who enjoyed their winter months in Florida.  The parents were going away for a week and needed someone to oversee their 4 girls in the evenings, ages 7 to 16. 

Even with injury, they chose to keep me in that job, which was a tremendous blessing, because I had immediately gotten fired from my main job after being injured. 

So, this opportunity not only afforded me a safe haven to recover, but a way to recover and still pay bills while recovering.  (God makes ways)

I can’t say that I repented and sought God at this point, though I know I was feeling lucky to have survived.

Eventually after 6 months I was healed and ready to find a more permanent placement.

When you are made to rest, to take a step back from the “normal”, even through vicious and upending circumstances, it isn’t a bad thing, unless you look at it through skeptical, and pessimistic eyes. 

I was so busy keeping busy to avoid the truths that caused my true pain, my internal pain, I was not allowing myself a chance to heal or turn to my Savior King.  Life can sweep you up, even if you aren’t really enjoying it.  It’s sometimes so much easier to stay in the pain, or stay a lone-island, than face the root of it all! It’s easier to stay in the familiar of pain, rather than rest in the peace that God offers. Unfamiliar territory is still scary, even if it’s landscape is much better, and offers so much more than the one, one is used to.  But God….

So I returned to NY, and found a job in a relocation company in Danbury, CT. This was a miracle in and of itself.  I was terribly unmarketable, even though with business degree, my expertise was in horse training and farm management.  But God….

The wife of one of my mother’s cousins worked there and recommended me, and that is the only way I was hired.

There I met a raw, beautiful, single mother, and un-coincidentally, the administrative executive for the team on which I was placed (God makes ways), who invited me to her church one day. 

At this point, I found my way into singing for a wedding band, and such. I was still living a life of sin. I kind of shirked at the idea of walking into a church as a hypocritical mess.  But God…

One Sunday morning in October 2005, I woke up in the bed of a co-worker in New Milford, CT.  I didn’t know what had proceeded the night before, but I felt as filthy in my soul, as I looked and smelt.  I got in my car and began to drive home, and I remember being completely “done” with everything. I finally got real with God. 

I remember driving, crying terribly, and saying “God what I’m doing is not working”.  It was an AHA (revelation) moment. And just as I submitted, just as I finished saying those words, there was the church (to which my single mom administrative executive friend invited me), and it’s enormous front and cross, appearing to my right, and I turned my car into that parking lot.

I remember standing in the way back, away from everyone, but I remember the feeling I felt. I felt as if I found a safe place.  A home base. Someplace different. A way for change to happen. And the music. The singers. They were so wonderful!  I remember thinking “I’m going to do that!”.  A hope welled within me that I hadn’t experienced before.

Months later, I would try out for choir, and that very night, meet my husband.

Ironically, I would pursue a relationship with him originally because I was looking for someone to be a roommate with, and he seemed to have it all together with a stable job, and outlook.  But God…

One night on the way home from a date/concert in the city, I felt and saw him (I had my head resting on his chest) through the reflection of the glass on the train, praying silently over me. And in that moment, I knew that I would marry the man.  No one had ever cared enough to pray for me.

We would be engaged 3 months later. Married 1 year later.

He would later tell me that my tenacity for encouraging and witnessing him improve himself in his own life, with his own boundaries with family and friends, would bless his love for me further. 

It’s wild how I could help and encourage this man change for the better, yet I was still so stuck in my own life, ways, bad habits from the past, etc… While I had sworn off drugs, drinking and even sex (until we married), I was still so very damaged and manipulative in my comings, goings, thinking and doings.

I began to learn and grow and be blessed with Christ-ordained friendships in the church.  I began to learn God’s Word. I began to believe it and speak it.

God would use my husband also, and his blessed patience, persistence, consistency and stability to be a tangible reflection of His unfailing, grace-filled, miraculous, constant love.

My husband is like no other that I’ve ever met in this world. Matchless in compassion, understanding, wisdom and relationship with God Himself, he is my angel, and my closest friend. God truly chose for me above all I can ask or think.

I often struggle still, thinking, I’m so undeserving of such love, both with Jesus and my husband.  But then He sings over me as in Zephaniah 3:17 “I am in your midst. I am mighty to save, and mighty to deliver. I will quiet you with my love. You are my beloved upon whom my favor rests”.  And I tremble, and gasp. Such love. Such unfailing love. Who am I that God Himself should bless me so? And the blessings, they continue…

A day before I found out that I was pregnant with my answer (my daughter’s name means “God has answered”), I was laid off from my job. It was devastating at first.  I found such identity in being useful in a job. Once again, in my mind, I was being rejected.  But God…

Once we found out we were pregnant, we determined I would be staying at home with our baby.

And then the foundation of my spiritual walk came to be. Every day for 9 months, I sat and listened to sermons on TBN. Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Joel Osteen, Charles Stanley. You name the preacher and I was listening and taking notes, the whole day through. The foundation I received in my walk with Christ through this time period is still proving priceless to me. But, He ordained it to be so. He made me to rest, so I could “find” Him.  

In various ways since, God has made me to walk through uncomfortable situations in challenging my unhealthy connections, relationships, boundaries, and damaged defense mechanisms.  And I imagine He will continue to. In order to be birthed, one must be pushed, and through really narrow and dark places at that!

God has been forcing me to rest, and rest in Him, and pushed me all along in that, in ways that otherwise seemed devastating. But they were not. He’s proven them not to be.

These were just big wake up calls and ways to help me strengthen my foundation in Him, for the next glories.   He’s proven to never leave me or forsake me. He’s proven over and over that He loves me, and while I’m peculiar, I’m called to be a prophet unto the nations, singing and speaking of His steadfast love and faithfulness! An encourager and exhorter in the body of Christ, and worshipper of all that He is. Omnipotent. Omniscient. Able. Faithful. Mighty God!

Had God allowed me to remain on my planned paths, He only knows where I’d be.  I shudder to think, but He truly does work all things for good to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. He makes ways when they are no ways, but not in ways we may believe or feel are not good at all!

If there is ever an admonition chant about rest, I can say it’s this…. Believe God, no matter what it looks like.

He always comes through. There comes a time in every believer’s life that your faith will be tested. I exhort you today, you must believe the report of the Lord.

We must make a choice to believe God. No matter what we are going through, no matter what our situations, no matter how bad it looks, we must trust God! We must choose to believe. Take Him at His word. He loves us too much to leave us the same. He will change us in and through rest that comes through shock at times. But He will mold you, the clay, for He is the best potter.  He takes the Bread, blesses the Bread, breaks the Bread, and then gives the Bread. We are the Bread.  Now Go with God and Grow! I know I will ever be!

Resting & Ruminating in Remembrance of His Grace & Goodness

One of my favorite songs is "Waiting Here For You".  Here is the link to watch/listen to it:

It's a simple heart cry, and speaks about Waiting on God in hopeful, faithful, expectation for His help to move mountains, and adoring Him in it, and through it all. 

I sing along with Christy Nockels, with every heart conviction, and cling to and believe in, every Word, when I do. Yet, in my life, in the thick of a going-through-ugly moment, I forget about God's faithfulness and might, and I doubt, in fear. 

And ever still, I'm baffled, as God has delivered me from so many things, pits and people. How could I forget His goodness, despite so many deliverances? 

Oh, how I'm ever learning that the Kingdom of God is completely reverse from everything naturally known and observed. I know this, yet still, I can be drawn to doubt and unbelief.  Truly I know exactly "where" that man in the Word was when he cried in Mark 9:24, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!" Yes, I am ever, chronically human.

He says in His Word...My ways and thoughts are not your ways and thoughts, My ways and thoughts are higher (Isaiah 55:8)  

Indeed.  In resting and reflecting this morning, I feel so very humbled, and so very blessed, as I remember upon how far He's brought me. How greatly He's saved me.  And how greatly He forgives me for my doubt, time after time. 

And this prayer and confession came up via Rick Renner (one of my most treasured bible teachers).... Yes, this is my heart-call-song this morning, and every day, really (Yours also?)....

Lord, it is true that You have worked so many miracles in my life. If I were to
try to recount all the times You have saved me, delivered me, rescued me, gotten me out of trouble, put me on a right path, and blessed me when I didn’t deserve it, I wouldn’t have enough time to recite them all! So how could I ever question that You would be with me right now in my present challenge? Of course You are with me and will help me. Forgive me for being so hardhearted as to forget what You have already done for me. And I thank You right now that You are going to help me this time too! I pray this in Jesus’ name!
And, I confess that I am not forgetful of the many ways God has worked in my life. I am mindful of His mercy and grace and I praise Him for it every day. I am a living testimony of His power. He is my Redeemer, my Healer, my Deliverer, and my Provider. He is the One who rescues me from harm and who meets my every need. I am fully supplied in every area of my life because of the promises God has made to me in His Word! I declare this by faith in Jesus' Matchless Name!

So may you ever be encouraged, in God. 

As Christine Caine (another favorite bible teacher of mine) exhorts this morning..... It is essential that we allow for “PAUSE” moments in our lives, because it is in those times that we can hear the voice of God, be reminded of His greatness, rest in His presence and allow His peace to be established in every area of our lives.

Be still, and know that I am God . . . —Psalm 46:10a (ESV)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lordyour God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

Reflect on all He is, all He's done and all He's given

Your Father Walks With You, Especially in the Uphill going

Blue Skies, And Green Fields (above all you can dare ask or think), Await you on the other side 

Your Father is ever watching over you, ever near, on the long road

Count your blessings one by one - They are ever all around you

Walk with Your Father hand in hand, through "it" All. He never leaves or forsakes you. He loves you with an everlasting love! (Jeremiah 31:3)

Amen! Much Love to You, Beloved Ones of God.  God Bless your day! 

By His Grace ~ Amy O

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My One, True Calling

Perhaps it's watching my child grow rapidly in leaps and bounds before my eyes, daily...

Perhaps it's reading and experiencing (in) the news of how quickly life can change, end, and be upheaved in a moment...
Perhaps it's just a feeling so humble and vulnerable in this quiet moment of reflection and immersing with God, the Father. Oh how His amazing grace has saved me so, and keeps on saving me, ever day! ...

In all of these experiences, my heart is filled to bursting with the Holy Call that I might share Him more than ever with All (Mark 16:15)

Lord, I am concerned for my family, friends, acquaintances, and fellow workers who still don’t know You as their personal Savior. I’ve been concerned that if I tried to talk to them, I wouldn’t make sense, so I’ve shied away from witnessing to them. But I know You can make sense out of anything I say. Today I am leaning on You to help me witness to people in my life. I need You to speak to their hearts at the same time I’m speaking to their ears! Please help me tell them about Your saving grace!

I confess that I am a witness for Jesus Christ! I open my mouth and speak the truth in love, and people want to hear what I have to tell them. This is the best news in the whole world — and when I tell it, people get excited and want to give their lives to Jesus. I am not afraid to speak up, to speak out, and to speak on behalf of my precious Savior. What He has done for me, He will do for others, for He is not a respecter of persons. Therefore, I will boldly tell of the grace of God and what He has done for me!

I declare this by faith in Jesus' name! ~ R Renner

God Bless you today, Beloveds! Be sure to tell of THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! Sing of His Love Forever! Your life is Your Worship!

In His Love and Only, Ever By His Grace ~ Amy O

Resurrection Day = Every Day

Every day He wakes us, is a good day. New Day. New Mercies. Ever-Jesus, now!

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives

Brief Reflections for Today....

This came to me as a word in due season, yesterday, and I felt led to share it here, as it may encourage you too....

When you've perpetually pondered problems in the pit. Pick yourself up and purpose to permanently persevere in passionate pursuit as His prodigal protege!

Lift up my head to remember Your way is downward, Your truth is sacred, and Your life is enough. May I have the courage to pursue Your ideas of success, accomplishment, and arrival. Move us forward in Your name. ~ John 14:6 ~ E Freeman

Monday, April 28, 2014

Failure or Forward Progress? ~ I Cannot - God Can!

Good Day, Ya'll!

Another Personal Share (hoping to encourage you in your own struggle and journey, as I'm transparent and vulnerable).....

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again..... ~ Proverbs 24:16

Oh boy, I've tripped again! Truthfully, I have tripped so many times in one particular area. Much more than 7.

My husband and I will be celebrating 7 years marriage, roughly 8 years together in May.

While a glorious occasion, no doubt, something plagues me. It seems as I have made some progress in certain areas, yet I am just stuck in others.

Particularly when it comes to financial stewardship and management.

This is where I usually insert/place blame in growing up in a financial-management challenged home. But that is just an excuse. I'm a "big girl", and I have every ample opportunity to have learned, grown, and improved in this area.

I can say....I've tried just about everything...budget sheets, tracking avenues, envelope cash only systems (thank you, Dave Ramsey), but somewhere the pride in me keeps me from changing my ways in a healthier fashion.

My husband confessed to me early last night that he was restless and couldn't sleep well because he felt that "we weren't doing well financially again". I knew we had overspent the budget this month despite God really showing up and providing extra $$ favor. Truthfully I had stopped keeping track a week ago by how much our overage was, because I knew I had failed again. Avoidance just delays the inevitable truth, unfortunately.

I have been given the entrustment and stewardship of grocery and miscellaneous spending in our marriage. I think I've stuck to budget only 1 month out of the 8 years that we've been together. Yeah, I know. Sad. And I've never been under budget. We've saved nothing, all this time.

I'm bleeding out here. I've given the responsibility of budget management and grocery shopping to my very patient, ever understanding, ever compassionate husband, only to take it back to try and prove myself again, yet, always seem to fail in it.

I've had pride up until this point, now I can feel every bit of me sad over consistent failure, and willingly, I let go last night.

As my husband, rightfully, again, was going over his observations and concerns, I crumbled.

We have so many dreams and visions. We want a house with a big yard for our children to play in freely, and to retreat to without close-quarter condo living and all of it's interesting ins and outs. We also have tremendously burdened hearts to help and give to others, like never before. No doubt my giving from our misc budget this month is one of the causes of overage. Makes for a hard-pressed "cheerful heart" in giving. But still I know I must and will give somehow! Just how?

I once heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results! I believe God has sustained us all this time by grace, but He cannot and will not promote us if I don't completely either give into humility in this area, and also change my ways. Oh how I long to be that Proverbs 31 woman! I seem so far from it, most of the time! Here's to ever-growth in Christ!

I keep on suggesting that I'm happy to get a part time job, but my beloved husband says no. He's already working so hard, two jobs. And it causes my heart pain to know how hard he is working, and how much I'm foiling his efforts, in a sense. He puts it/says it, this way... It doesn't matter if the hole in the bucket is large or small, no matter how much water you put in it, it's going to leach out if there is a hole at all!

He's right.

Bottom line: My poor choices and lack of progress in this all, are causing our dream achievement, helping hand, and heart desires to be delayed, so I will stop trying, because I can't. But He, can! I think it is Staci Eldridge who puts it so eloquently, "Christ in you can! Christ through you!!! Christ in you - the hope of glory!!! Inhale Jesus, Exhale Self!"

So, I've fallen again...but I'm not completely out. God has woken me up (picked me back up) today, so He's not done with me yet. New day, new mercies, and new beginnings, in Him.

So I will take hold of the fear, shame and doubt, cast my cares, dust myself off from the fall in the dirt again, and keep going forward with Him. His strength is made perfect in my weakness His Word says. Lord I believe, yet help my unbelief!

And then this final thought came as I was just about to post this....

"Sometimes I feel like my doubts and shortcomings make Jesus seem weak, but it’s me that is in a moment of weakness. He is strong enough for my doubts. I’m so thankful for His faithfulness! He will cause my victory, in His will & time and through my faith in action! And also, even in moments of fear or doubt, we are still charged to tell others about Jesus." ~ Renee Swope

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Victory is nigh! I must confess it and believe it, no matter what the "now" looks like.

I love the vulnerability Christ displays when he called Thomas in close to reveal his scars (John 20:19-31). In sharing today, my heart hope is that I would be diligent about sharing my “hole-i-ness” with others so that ultimately they might see and know their own, and remember upon God’s mightiest works and believe!

Lord, today I pray my eyes, my mind, and my heart are set on You, no matter the circumstances. And Lord, help me to change my ways, and walk more responsibly, creatively, uprightly that I might be blessed and be a blessing! In Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.

Have a beautiful day, Beloved Ones! I pray it’s filled with God’s loving presence, favor and grace!

Thanks for being my sounding boards, and my inspirations!

Love, Grace and Peace ~ Amy O

You and I - John The Baptist-like?

Reading in John 1 this are a few of my observations/takeaways.....

This Chapter is written by the Apostle John, about John the Baptist. 
It mainly points to God being divinely man.  

There are a few things about John the Baptist that tickle me a bit, because they reference similar calls on our own lives....

* He's divinely appointed messenger for Jesus (points the way to Him)
* He's a preacher who's theme is repentance.  (turn away from the old ways and habits/cling to new ones in Christ that serve you better/best)
* He's a fearless confronter (while I may not be this completely yet, I find encouragement and comfort in knowing God is ever giving me opportunities to grow in this "weakness" because He wants me to be more like one of His greatest prophets! you too?) 
* He's known for his remarkable lifestyle (enough said) :-
* He's known as uncompromising (And Amen = in business, in family, in heart, in home, in are the light of the world, His light to point people to Him! Your integrity and character, and encouragement draw people unto you, and therefore unto Him!) :-) 

Lastly, taking a cue from the first sentences in this Chapter....Jesus is the Word.  Stay in THE WORD! :-) 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Tearful Inner-Tantrum, Tumultuous Tribulation, and Terrific Testimony

What words could there be for such a Great God?! One Who will never leave or forsake. One Who loves so furiously and endlessly.

I have a testimony, and I feel led to share it here, because I know we all could use a little encouragement right now. May this bless You!

What words are there when one who tries to encourage, isn't encouraged themselves?

When the past 2 days have been hell, with endless tears, and heart ache. And the questions come flying through the mind and heart...Why the same old mountain, God? Why the same old hurts?

When self pity takes over and one chooses to no longer cling to truth because it's become so clouded and faint in the overwhelming midst of unbelief and distrust. And then the revelation....pick yourself up Girl, this is no way for a woman of God to act and believe. Choose life, not death.

And the forgiveness pleas come even as I turn the key in the door to leave to begin the day. And what seems the ever present request, passes my lips and sings over my heart and head yet again...Help me, Lord...

Then the storm grows more wild.....

What words are there when the mechanic tells you that the problem you thought needed fixing, was not actually the problem?

That you've been driving around in your vehicle and the actual brakes aren't functioning, and the miracle is we are still alive. The physical brakes have seized and need replacing. Just as the proverbial brakes need fixing/replacing, otherwise you aren't safe. And then comes the quote near $1000 to fix the problem. And you don't have it. And you don't know how you will ever have it. There is nothing left when the bills are paid at the end of the month. How, God? Why, God?

Phone calls are made, and a kind soul can fix the car today, for $625 plus tax instead, and you go, thankful for any reprieve at all, yet still so unsure as you drive in your currently unsafe vehicle into an even bigger storm. Lord, will You calm these winds and waves? Where is Your favor? Where is this peace that surpasses all understanding that You've declared You've given?

The sun is shining strong and consistent for the first day in forever, outside, and the winter is slowly exiting stage right, yet the dark storm cloud of issue and pain still looms within.

As you walk and wait, you look to the child entrusted to you with thanks over experiencing their joy and thrill of being outside in the coming of this new season, your mind overwhelms your trust capacity. How? Why? God, Help?! She trusts so easily. She is loved, provided for, and protected. She trusts. May I be more like this precious little child, God!

And you return to the mechanic when the repairs have been said to have been completed and you breath deep, handing over the credit card. You brace for the blow. The total charge is $666. Indeed the enemy has had a hand in this trial. It is stamped in the number of the cost of it. But, God?! God why have you permitted this? And, for one of the first times ever, the answer comes quick and sure!

The cashier leaves your credit card in your hand, and gives you your keys, and the unthinkable, unfathomable grace-laden words come. The ones You never expected.... "It's already taken care of!"

How? Why? And the whisper comes quiet and sure, 'My Beloved One, Do you trust Me?' 

Oh Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!

And then you turn and someone who's rendered so much hurt, is there, with compassion in their eyes, and hands you happily and freely, another card with credit on it enough to help cover groceries for the rest of the month. Even now my enemies are showing me loving kindness.

Could it be? My God, My God, You HAVE NOT forsaken me! My own Isaiah 61:7 promise coming to pass before my very eyes....

'Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.' (NIV)

And still the same questions can come "God, How? Why?" But these don't matter. They never did. Just like my natural storm never mattered, nor my self-imposed mind over truth storm never mattered either.

Because when you are His child, the only formidable question that can be formed is ..... "How could you believe that He loved you enough to die for You, yet not believe He loves You enough to call, sustain, fight for or provide for you through 'It' 'All'?!

It is by grace through our faith (given in every measure) that we are saved. Likewise, it is by grace through faith that we are changed. We need only believe. He has seen and will see us through the/(HIS) REST.

If there were ever a declaration from our Jesus today that we must grab hold of and put on as the only armor strong enough to overcome in the struggle/battle (that is THE LORDS), it is this...


I leave you with some deeply relevant scripture truth and encoruagement today...the only words I know to leave after such a God-glorifying testimony. Be loved today, and be His love, Daughters of THE King! Place every hope and trust in Him Who Saves, Delivers and Quiets Us with His Love! (Zeph 3:17) He's Everything we need!

1 John 3 (MSG)

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.

But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.....For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

Psalm 29:10-11

Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.
God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG) This is God’s Word on the subject....I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

A Prayer for Peace: God, You know everything I'm dealing with and I'm thankful for that. I just need to feel the power of Your presence. Lord, help me take my focus off my circumstances and put it right on You. Take my worry, frustration and fear, and give me the peace that surpasses all understanding. Help me see things from Your point of view. You're not intimidated by anything. You have complete control over everything. No matter what happens today, I know You'll give me the grace to get through it in victory. Even now I am filled with peace and joy because Your presence is with me. Lord, I thank You for Your peace and I pray that You would use me as a witness of Your Word. In Jesus Name. Amen. (Joyce Meyer Ministries)

In His Love and Only By His Grace ~
Amy O

Saturday, March 1, 2014


I love how God prompts our Littles to bless us with truths and wisdoms.

There is simple beauty in receiving a needed "word", "out of the mouths of babes".

Yesterday, while sharing with a beloved friend, my daughter, my "answer", whom had been happily coloring beside me, asked me for help. When I gladly obliged, I asked her what color she wanted me to help with specifically to help finish the coloring. She enthusiastically replied, "Surprise me, Mama!", and proceeded to leave and go play. She trusted me to help, and she casted her cares and proceeded with other adventures.

How this speaks to me, and gives me the answer in which I was seeking not only for me, but for my beloved friend.

We must trust God to help. Ask for His help. Ask Him to surprise you. Cast that care and keep moving forward. He is and will answer you, above all You can dare, ask and think!

Psalm 142:5 ~ "I cry to you, LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."

Psalm 30:2 "LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me."

Psalm 28
Common English Bible (CEB)
I cry out to you, Lord.
You are my rock; don’t refuse to hear me.....
6 Bless the Lord
because he has listened to my request for mercy!
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield.
My heart trusts him.
I was helped, my heart rejoiced,
and I thank him with my song.
8 The Lord is his people’s strength;
he is a fortress of protection for his anointed one.
9 Save your people, God!
Bless your possession!
Shepherd them and carry them for all time!

Frozen....A Revelation and Soliloquy

The other day, Disney movie "Frozen" came out on iTunes for purchase....and guess who were one of the first house holds to purchase it?

Of course, our little princess-blessed home was!

Once you watch this film, it's easy to understand how this has been Disney's highest grossing film of all time.

It's title song "Let It Go", sung by Idina Menzel, with it's gripping melody and lyrics, coupled with a stunning musical arrangement is particularly very catchy and heart home-hitting for anyone facing a great going through of the heart, mind and soul.

I am always interested in seeing "making of" and "behind-the-scenes" snippets for these things. I love to research and discover the people and the work that goes into the making and creating of a thing.

I came upon the video of the song writers of the film. They are a mother and father of two young girls, who wrote all of the songs for this film. The time and the hours put into the writing and "discovering" of these songs were countless.

One things that spoke to me particularly was when they said that to even begin writing the songs they spent 18 months for 2 hours a day, on a conference call with the writers of the film, learning about who the characters were that were singing the songs, and getting to know them inside and out.

Once they did this, they than began to write, and there were a lot of songs that reached the chopping block, before they "discovered" "Let It Go" (the signature song), than most of the rest of the songs came from this.

This is strangely peculiar to me.

Recently, God has been calling me to dig deeper with Him. Get to know Him better. I have a lot of hearts desires that I want to fulfill for Him, and my crying out prayers lately have been, "How, God?", and "What, God?" I am trusting Him for the divine favor, anointing and blessing to be able to move forward in these dreams, particularly in writing books and songs that glorify and bless Him and His Kingdom.

Interestingly , in this busy day in age, and lots of pull in all different directions, I conveniently often get my Word "on the go". I listen to sermons, and I read devotionals, and I listen to worship music and praise as often as I can, praying as often as busy life allows. Most of the time, my kitchen is my most favorite everyday tabernacle.

Yet I least often sit and be still and seek Him in His Word, regarding my own particular life relevance. There are a few minutes in the quiet of the early morning before every one wakes up that I journal, but it isn't nearly a searching in the scripture for my personal "rhema" (in my understanding this means "stand out" scripture and guidance from God on particularly relevant things in my life and journey with Him and for Him).

And if I don't get to really know my God and His heart, by pursuing knowing Him in and through His Word, how can I know Him well enough to create my life song for Him!? Wow!

It took a lot of time, effort, and researching and searching within one's anointing to be able to create the beautifully finished work of a timeless creative work such as the movie "Frozen", therefore why wouldn't it be so with a wanted timelessly beautiful life and life work for God?

One other thing that struck me from what the Disney "Frozen" song writers had said was, "You have to write a lot of wrong songs, to find the right song". I love that!

I both love and dislike that failure is inevitable in the journey of maturity in a thing, project or life. But within that failure is the blessing of the keys to rising further, and more greatly to a next level or point in it.

I've been afraid to "go for it" out of the knowing of the inevitable fear of failure. Truthfully, I don't care for the pain and upset failure brings. I've experienced enough hurt and harm in my life from the pain of failure. By my God is greater, and I've failed to embrace this truth! Hence my parilzation in the moving forward in hope and trust in The One Who is Greatest!

So, if I just "Let It Go" and let God (The One who will never leave, fail or forsake me or quit loving me), I will find in my measure of faith, in my willing heart for Him, that He will and can bless me more abundantly above all I dare ask, or think. And use me as the blessing I long to be. No pain is so great that it shadows or even comes close to Jesus' ultimate pain and sacrifice on that cross at calvary.

It's time for the ceiling to become the floor, and to let great grace be our fuel to go to a deeper level with our Father and Friend. Search for Him and You will find Him, and most of all yourself, and "what (and Who) you are made of".

If there ever was a time to "Let It Go", it is now, for such a time as this, Beautiful Children of God and pioneers of faith for Our Great and Mighty King!

Love you All! Thanks for reading through this lengthy post! Praying it has blessed and encouraged you!

In His Love and By His Grace ~ 

Amy O

Stuffing My Face (Celery or Prayer?)

Personal Revelation Share...

May be an encouragement to someone out there, so I thought I'd share...

Ever since I was a kid, I've had a really big problem with binging, overeating and self-destructive eating tendencies.

It always starts the same. Either I'm procrastinating in making a decision on something, or I'm worried about someone or something, and I get up and go straight to the cabinets.

I'd stuff my face, but to be honest, my mind never got calm or received the peace in which I was longing for, nor did my appetite ever get squelched, or quenched, nor did my hips ever lie! 

I had recently heard Joyce Meyer's testimony about quitting smoking. She said that she would be driving down the highway, puffing on cigarettes saying out loud "I hate smoking. I don't like to smoke.!" The testimony ends with her desire to smoke, completely leaving her within a short time.

So I took a queue from this spiritual Mama and started declaring about 2 weeks ago "I hate overeating. I hate binging and stress eating. I hate eating unhealthily".

And this was great, although, it was only one step of the journey. I needed to not stop doing the bad habit, but start doing the better habit. So I had begun to pray instead.

Every time those familiar tendencies arose, I would begin to pray, and not just for myself to stop, but for all the people, and things that I could think of that needed prayer covering. I began to speak life, and use the very instrument (and weapon) that the enemy was trying to keep "stuffed" and "full" with food and unnecessary things, to combat him and this hell tool.

Our words are containers of power. There is no greater weapon than the trust-filled, worship-giving power of prayer.

If you struggle with this same issue, please, even if it's a whisper, PRAY! You don't have to be loud for your prayers to be heard!

I've noticed a big difference since this new revelation, and I pray that it encourages and blesses you too!

Here are some relevant quotes and scripture...

"When you move in a negative emotion or thought, you are empowering the enemy against yourself. Everything the enemy seeks to bring against us we can turn it around by moving in the opposite spirit and afflicting him instead."~ G Cooke

1 Corinthians 6:12 declaration:
"'I have the right to do anything,' you say—but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'—but I will not be mastered by anything."

The enemy is terrified of every woman who studies God's Word, prays with power, loves with grace and serves with joy. C Caine

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5b-7)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
English Standard Version (ESV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

God Bless you! Here's to breakthrough and better habits embrace and blessings!

In His Love and Grace,
Amy O

My Epic Gym Failure...

It was just a matter of time.  

I could only pass by the newly opened gym touting the $10 per month fee sign, before signing up. 

Tight budget, small condo = next to no budget room, nor physical space for a cardio machine. And it was long past due for me to start incorporating regular cardio into my fitness routine. I had plateaued, and my weight loss stopped, yet I still have 10 more pounds before my goal weight is reached. 

So off I went. I wasn't sure what to expect.  I'd joined a gym before, years earlier, and felt really out of place, and under-educated. However, this time around, having done Lisa Lynn workouts ( for about 1 year, feeling pretty fit, and about thirty pounds down, I felt I could give it a more confident try.  

Then it happened...about 3 days in, I began pushing myself very hard.  Almost everyone at the gym seemed so much more fit and better looking than I, and truthfully, I got caught up with the hype of the fitness beast. And frustratingly, sadly, unnecessarily, I injured my back very badly about 2 weeks in.

Here's the point: After 1 year of working out with Lisa, I never got injured. 

Lisa's ( metabolic workouts were designed to boost your heart rate, and jump start your metabolism, as well as keep it working strong all day; without all the torque and insanity of other main stream workouts, or killing yourself at the gym. 

Bottom line: You don't need to kill yourself at a gym in order to get results. In fact, you may be doing more damage than good.  

Lisa recommends 30 - 45 minutes a day cross-training cardio and working out with one of her DVD workouts 3 times a week.  Since I've healed, and really began to follow her experiential wisdom, I've found the pressure's off, and no more injuries, yet the results still keep coming, and I'm more motivated to continue with this journey. I'm down 5 more pounds this week, and feel more strong and fit than ever. 

Hope you can learn a lesson from my testimony.  All the best in your fitness journey in 2014!  

In His Love and By His Grace ~ Amy O