All of You…Together

womenofthewaytn:

The Summer Series is off to a great start! This is a reminder of why we are gathering……

Originally posted on Women of the Way:

1 Corinthians 3:16-23

16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[a] you?17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise.19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,“He traps the wise    in the snare of their own cleverness.”[b20 And again,“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;    he knows they are worthless.”[c]

21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you—22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter,[d] or…

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A Modern Psalm

Praise the Lord for a new day full of restored strength and fresh mercy- His Love endures forever!

Give thanks to Him for hugs and kisses and cuddles- His Love endures forever!

For His hand of protection and answered prayer- His Love endures forever!

When family never fails and friends keep you going- His Love endures forever!

He causes spring to bring the flowers, summer to bring the tomatoes, and fall to bring the crisp air- His Love endures forever!

When my soul is dry and my mind is weary- His refreshing Love endures forever!

Even though the appliances die and the truck needs new tires- His providing Love endures forever!

For the longings of my heart that cannot be uttered out loud- His overwhelming Love endures forever!

When I run out of best intentions and they holler “momma!” for the 1000th time- His patient Love endures forever!

His Spirit fills again and His Word speaks again- His incredible Love endures forever!

When I’m soaring high or sinking way down low, His faithful Love endures forever!

No matter how I feel or what may come my way, His complete Love will never let me down and will never, ever end!!!

All glory, honor, and praise be to the King of kings and Lord of lords!

His bountiful, satisfying, perfect Love. Endures. Forever!!!!!!!!

~Amy

(My words don’t seem to be enough, but this song seems to get a little closer)

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Fall in Love

I don’t blog about marriage. Although I have learned a lot about marriage and about being a wife, I don’t share much about it at WoW.

I don’t write about parenting. Oh boy….I have learned SO MUCH about myself through parenting and trying to be a better mom. Sure, I could share some tips and ideas and what I’ve had to do to survive being a mother of triplets. But, I don’t do that here.

I love baking and recipes. I am a total Foodie. I read other bloggers who do such a fine job blending the everyday with the sacred, but I don’t really feel called to bring that to this page.

Decorating? DYI projects? Photography? I’m just not the typical ‘mommy-blogger’, I guess

What then?

One of my deepest desires through Women of the Way is to bring hope, encouragement and guidance to you, my sister. To tell you, and hopefully, inspire you in becoming a more passionate, devoted follower of Christ. Why?

Because when you know that Jesus loves you, and you allow His love to sink down deep into your heart, and your relationship with Him is your primary source for all that you need, then everything else falls into place. Everything.

As women, when our relationship with Him is our sole security and the foundation of our lives, then we’ll be better women. As a result, we’ll have stronger families. Then, stronger families will lead to stronger churches. And, stronger churches will lead to the Kingdom of God being advanced!

We have that kind of influence.

We are that significant.

He longs to know us that deeply and use us in that way!

Do you long to know Him that deeply?

I truly believe if we begin to grasp how deep, how long, and how high the Father’s Love for us really is….I don’t mean ‘oh, church was nice’ or ‘I enjoy the music’ or ‘I find community there’….I mean ‘I feel so loved by God that I don’t need to look for a man or eat or have lots of friends to feel loved’, then His love can bring completewholeness in the deepest, most needful places of our hearts.

If you fall more in love with Him, just watch and see how it affects all the other ares of your life.  This song by Jars of Clay inspires me to fall more in love with Him.

~Amy

 

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Alleluia, Christ is Risen!!

The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia!!!

We’ve celebrated the Resurrection. The songs have been sung. Sunday dinner was delicious. Several weeks have passed. Fifty days to be exact. And, here we are…..Pentecost!

Today, we celebrate what some call “the birthday of the Church”. It’s the day we celebrate when the Holy Spirit was poured out and into believers of Christ. No longer was God walking along side those who believe. God was dwelling in them!

Week after week, we do our thing…..work, live, eat, sleep, wake up, and repeat. Some days are great. Some days the problems of life smack us down. A couple of times a year we pause to reflect on this Christian life. Easter…Resurrection…ok…that’s great. Let’s keep moving. But, is our life reflecting the awesomeness of Jesus Christ alive? The Holy Spirit indwelling us??

The truth is the power of the Resurrection must be living in each of us! Every day!

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 1:19-20

Did you get that? The same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead is for us who believe in him! The same Power that raised The Christ, Messiah from death lives in you and me! Everything changes when I stop long enough to let the truth of it try to sink in.

This is a game changer. This turns living-in-a-rut, day to day survival on its head.

If this same Holy Spirit lives in me, this same “incredible greatness of God’s power” residing in me, then surely I can give unceasingly of myself to my family, give 110% to my occupation, or serve the Church and community around me.

Surely, if Jesus was raised from the dead, then I can forgive those who’ve hurt me or pray for those who disagree with me, or (heaven help me) learn to tame my tongue!

Excuse me for a minute while I lose myself briefly to leap and shout for joy!!! Christ alive and living in…..ME! Alleluia! This is for real, ya’ll!!!

So, yes. We can do this life with its day to day trials and difficulties because we can live in the power of the Resurrection and in the celebration of Pentecost- when we choose it.

Father, no matter how I am feeling today, no matter what my circumstances are today, help me to recognize greatness of Your Power living in me. Fill me fresh with the Holy Spirit so that I may live this life in the power of the Resurrection in Jesus’ Name! Amen!!!

~Amy

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Running on Empty

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything here. I’ve wanted to so badly. But, after Easter I just couldn’t. I was running on empty.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been so many wonderful things going on that required intense focus and preparation- studying, speaking, singing…..all on top of every day living…family, work, house, etc My goal was to keep all this in balance.

When Easter finally came, I had finished most of my engagements and was able to breathe a little satisfied sigh of relief. Now I could get some blogging and newsletter writing accomplished, you know…..social networking and such. After so many wonderful experiences from the spring, I wanted to capitalize on it.

But I couldn’t. Could. Not. I was empty.

I really, really wanted to, but the thought of even attempting to peck out my ideas in any kind of coherence was too overwhelming to bear. 

See, I had been giving and pouring myself out in all these ministry endeavors. In fact, in two different situations, I felt I was giving birth (in a spiritual sense) to an event and pouring myself out like pouring water from a pitcher. I finally came to the point that I had poured out all that God had filled in me. To try to write or give anymore from a place of emptiness would have fallen flat.

And, don’t forget, I still had regular life to continue. Laundry and dishes DO NOT take a break. The end of the school year is always a busy time too. At the end of the day, I surrendered to the couch along side my cozy husband for some tv.

I know that before I can pour myself out like that again I must refill and recharge. I must spend time in prayer and worship in God’s presence in order to be a in a place of overflowing ministry to others. I must rest. Sometimes that means just taking care of life’s essentials and putting other things on hold for a bit.

More time has passed than I anticipated. I wish I could recharge those batteries quicker so I can get back to my to-do list. But it’s ok. Taking the time to recharge is always worth it. I would so much rather let Him fill me and let Him flow out of me than to fabricate something out of emptiness.

I’m sure its the same way for you. Your to-do list probably looks a lot different from mine, yet probably looks a lot the same too. One thing is for sure the same- We cannot do all we need to do when we are running on empty. We must allow God to fill us to overflowing.

Ephesians 3:16 says-  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

Take the time to let Him fill you. Don’t be running on empty! Take the time to feed your soul!

~Amy

PS Happy Blogging Anniversary! I’ve been writing here for about a year now! Thank you for following and reading. If you read something you love, it would make so happy if you share it!

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Chocolate

womenofthewaytn:

Are you staring at the Easter basket like me looking for a treat? If you love chocolate like I do, you’ll enjoy this…….

Originally posted on Women of the Way:

Let’s all pause for a moment and reflect………….

Aaaahhhhhhh……………………………………….

Anybody who knows me more than a few minutes knows that I am a Gen.u.ine. Choco-haulic. Yes, I admit it. I need therapy.

The honest truth is that once when I was little girl I kept begging and begging to eat the Reese’s cups, and mom decided to “cure” me by letting me eat all I wanted until I got sick. Yep, I ate all I wanted. And Yep, I got sick as a dog. It’s been a down hill addiction ever since.

This chocolate love-affair has also brought with it the whoas of battling the scale, but that is another story for another day. Let us, for now, just think about the chocolate…..

Used to, I’d eat anything that was called ‘chocolate’. Sure- some was better than others, but I didn’t care. I HAD to have it. Literally, it…

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My Journey through Lent

At the beginning of the new year 2014, I didn’t make any resolutions. I decided instead to set some priorities and commit myself to living in balance. Nope, No resolutions here.

I did, however, ask a question. Father, what areas of my life need to be radically changed by Your Love.

Fast forward to now. Lent (for those who are non-liturgical) is the 40 day period which begins after Mardi Gras on Ash Wednesday and ends on Palm Sunday. It is a time of reflection and penitence to prepare one’s heart for the celebration of the Resurrection.

Lent, for me, began with a fast on Ash Wednesday.  A day devoted to Scripture and prayer that helped me to focus my heart by examining my spiritual walk. Where am I with Christ? What are the areas of my life that need to be pruned, readjusted, or realigned? Each Wednesday I attempted to focus on fasting (not always successfully) and prayer, and as each week passed, another layer would be tenderly exposed to the Refiner’s Fire:

My journey into Lent revealed, I believe, some interesting answers.

My Desires.

My Surrender.

My Attention.

Desires- There are lots of things I do. Lots of things I feel called to do. Yes, they are good things. Family. Church. Music. Work. Many of these things I have a passion to do. They motivate and excite me. When I get the opportunity to pursue my desires, I feel like I am fulfilling the purpose for which I was made. I am being what I was made to be. This is a good thing. This is a God thing.  If I’m not careful, though, I could let I have let the pursuit of my desires drive me to achieve, to accomplish or to strive. Then, I would fall prey to thinking I have to achieve or accomplish in order to be accepted.  But the truth that God so gently revealed to me is that those God-given desires are meant to draw me to Him. Pursuit of those dreams apart from Him will only serve to push me toward goals that will never truly satisfy. While recognizing, though, that these desires are meant to be the vehicle that drives me to knowing and serving Him more completely, I understand better that the end goal is knowing Him and the glorious benefit is that He uses my desires in the process!!

Surrender- As good as my life is, there are still things I worry about. There are things I wish I could change. There are things I stamp my foot and whine and wish were going my way. And, then there are things in the depths of my heart I have a longing for God to make right, and I keep wondering when that will happen. When those worries, frustrations, and pains sometime bubble up to the surface, I get mad and agitated when the situations are not fixed right when I want them to be. Sometimes, I even begin to doubt if God can really change them at all.  Sure….most of us know the song…”I surrender all, I surrender all”. And we know in our heads we are to surrender ourselves to Him, and we say we do with our mouths, and then we go right on worrying as best we can. But, I was reminded during this Lenten journey to surrender. The circumstances and people in which I wish to see change need to be surrendered to Him. This doesn’t mean I stop being concerned. Rather, this means I continue praying as best I can and keep surrendering (often again and again) so that it gets ME out of the way so God can work the situation according to His plan!

Attention- I’m still a little raw and tender about this one. I am a pleaser. I want people to like me. I confess I even want people to like me more than others. I want people to like what I do. And yes, I confess I want people to like what I do more than others. Needing this attention comes in the form of desiring acceptance, affirmation, approval and the like. Oh, I know…it’s human nature to want such reassurances from others, and it’s not entirely bad to desire this. However, at the core of this attention seeking is insecurity. Down in the depths of my spirit, what I am really desiring is to be recognized by Him, the true Lover of my Soul. I realize I’ve had these longstanding insecurities, and they were so common to me I didn’t think much about it. But the Father lovingly points out when I am asking those attention seeking questions (Does she like what I do? Does my one-and-only-fella like the way I look? Do they think I did a good job? etc, etc, etc), I need to allow those questions to drive me to seek Him and allow His Word and His promises and His presence to fill me with His love.

Yes, His Love.

His unending, saturating, completing Love is the only thing that can be the fulfilling of my desire, the calming to my surrender, and the satisfying of my attention.

Now, a new practice needs to begin. I must retrain my thinking when these well-worn habits rise up to release this prayer:

Father, Use my desires to help me seek you more, help me surrender my worries to trust You more, reveal my need to be liked the best to find You already like me the best! Amen

What areas of your life need to be radically changed by God’s Love?

~Amy

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