When Your Daughter is Grasping….

Grasping – reaching for something, trying to obtain it; but desperate, not in control. (my definition)

See, I have this girl.  She’s my mini-me. She looks like me. She’s built like me. Many people say she’s just like me. I say she’s just like my sister, but that’s another story for another day.

From the very beginning, as a triplet, this girl moved more in my womb than the other two babies. I was already getting to know her as the active one. Even from the hospital nursery she was grasping.  She was grasping for air when the doctor saw her turning blue.

I should have known then: she was a fighter……read more at Prayers for Girls

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Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, Try This……

I’ve quit making New Year’s resolutions. I bet you have too.

I love getting a fresh start at the turn of the calendar. I’m a planner and a list-maker, so starting a new year helps me to get back on track and remember my priorities. But I don’t make resolutions.

In the past few  years, my purpose and motivation have been sharpened by choosing a special word for the year which has become popular in the blogging world. That one word helps guide my choices and keeps me going on the goals I want to accomplish. This year, I think my word is focus. But actually, I’m not real sure if I’m supposed to give more focus on a few areas or if I’m to focus more intently on everything I do. There are lots of things I’m passionate about and I don’t want to give up any of them…so I’m not real sure about focus.

So how about something really new?? But the thing is…it’s not new…it’s very old and familiar. Instead of resolutions that I may or may not sustain….instead of trying to sum up my priorities in one guiding word….how about New Year’s Scripture Revolutions!!!

Let’s use Bible verses to help guide how we should be acting as Christians and guiding our actions and priorities. Let’s use these verses to shape our thinking and how we treat our families, coworkers and church members.

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Photo credit Julie Anna Johnson, WoW2013

No matter your church affiliation or worship preference, use these verses to motivate you be more like Christ towards not just the people you like but also the people you don’t like! Whoa! Now, that’s not a resolution but revolution!!

Here’s a printable to help you get started. Read, memorize, and meditate on them. I challenge you when you wear them out to search the Bible to find more. I guarantee you won’t run out of wisdom and truth to give your life purpose throughout the entire year!

Do you have a great verse to share that can help guide us in more Christ-like living? Share it in the comments or share it on Facebook! If I get more verses, I’ll make another printable to share!!

 

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New things for the New Year

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you had a great Advent and Christmas season! We sure did!

With a new year comes a restarting, a refreshing, getting priorities back on track. It also comes with learning and trying new things and making plans for the year. I’ve got a lot of exciting things to share with you!

I’ve been learning some techy, internet-ish skills that I’m gonna start sharing with you on the blog and in the WoW newsletter. If you haven’t joined the WoW newsletter yet, then go to the Free Resources page to sign up! That’s where you can get printables, tips sheets and other goodies that I’ve been learning how to make…eeek!

Between now and January 16, every person who signs up to receive the newsletter will be entered for a drawing for a mini-calendar! And, if you share the contest on Facebook here, your name will be entered each additional time you share it.

Now, for announcing the annual WoW event!!!!

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Check out the Facebook event page and please say you are ‘Going’. That’s where you’ll get the most up to date info and details! Share…Share…Share!!!!

I’m so excited for the many opportunities and events that come with this brand new 2017!! I have lots of the things on my heart, and oh, how I’m looking forward to sharing them with you! I can’t wait to see you there and being apart of a new year together!!

~Amy

 

Advent: Love’s Greatest Story

Romantic movies try to create it. Love songs try to sing about it. Fairy tales try to capture it.

A longing lies in each of us for a Great Love Story.

We are drawn to such art, media, and entertainment because they touch in us this deep desire for love. Our hearts, and yes even our spirits, long for romance, adventure, and passion. We experience these thin attempts at love and long for more because they are only a shadow of something deeper we desire.

Before time began, God wrote the story we crave. God set forth the plan to pursue and redeem us for Himself. He wrote the story of Jesus Christ as the Savior for us all.

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Photo credit Julie Anna Johnson, WoW2013

In this great romance, He didn’t send Jesus to get us cleaned up good enough so he could finally show His love to us. No, this isn’t your familiar love story where the perfect looking hero and heroine meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Instead, while we were yet sinners, broken, ugly, and undeserving of His attention,   He sent Jesus as the Word made flesh because He already loved us. His motivation to send His Son as Savior of the World was because of His passionate love for us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have Everlasting Life. John 3:16

Read it again for the first time. It doesn’t say that He sent His Son to make the people lovable and then pursue us the object of His Desire. Rather, He loved us first and then set in motion the plot of the Great Love Story. The Hero seeks out the heroine even before she knows He is searching for her!

The fourth week of Advent reminds us of this great love God has for each of us and to be reminded that God’s pure, passionate love was why He sent us a Savior.Adventjoy

It makes perfect sense, then, the weeks of Advent are all part of the Great Love Story- Thanksgiving giving way to Hope, Hope making room for Peace, Peace leading us to Joy, and Joy opening our hearts for Love. In a dramatic, breath-taking conclusion, Christ bursts onto the scene as a baby, Emmanuel- God with us, and Love’s Greatest Story is birthed in our hearts!

As we light the 4th candle of Advent, I pray this love story is written on your heart in such a way the celebration of Jesus’ birth floods you with Hope, Peace, Joy and most of all, Love!

~Amy

How Football can teach you about Ministry

Show of hands…….Who else loves football season??

I’m not a huge sports fan, but I do love football.  The excitement, the intensity,the cool weather, the band….the win!!! I love it!

I grew up with a dad who particularly loved (and still does) a certain Crimson team with a rich history of tradition and winning. I remember waiting in the kitchen with my pom poms, and when there was a touchdown, I would run into the den to cheer!

I married a man who is equally passionate about our beloved team as my daddy. I always said the only thing my daddy and my husband had in common were football and me:) So,we pretty much plan our Saturdays around game time. Even though I prefer college football over professional, I still like the background noise of the game on Sunday afternoons…or anytime.

Here lately, I’ve been thinking about the training football players receive and what it takes to make successful teams and win games. I believe the same ideas could help us in life and in our ministries……

  1. Play a full 60 minutes: Football players are taught to give 100% for the FULL 60 minutes of the game.They don’t give up when there’s still another quarter left or even just a couple of minutes.  I can start to coast after lunch, or on Thursday afternoons, be tempted to call it a week. However, I know that’s not my best. I should give my best for the full day or week or task until it is complete….despite the outcome!
  2. Prepare: Football teams don’t start preparing for the game on the day of the game. They start way back in the spring exercising and strength conditioning. Likewise, if we are serving, giving, teaching, singing, preaching..anything, don’t wait to the last minute to prepare. There have been so many times I waited til the last minute to get ready. Even though things may have gone ok, I knew in my heart it could have been better if I had prepared more. Even if it’s just praying and getting my heart focused, any preparation for ministry makes the outcome more effective.
  3. Play your position: The quarterback can’t pass the ball and catch the ball and block the other players. He can only play his position. If he tries to play all the positions, he won’t be able to properly play any of them. Also, if he’s too busy watching or comparing what his other teammates are doing, he’s not going to play at his best. Same with us. If I’m comparing my ministry to someone else’s or jealous of someone else’s success, it takes me away from playing effectively in my part of the game.
  4. Stay focused on the goal: Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on why we are doing what we do. We get tired and pour ourselves out until we are empty. If we aren’t seeing a lot of results, we can get wore down and wonder if we’re gaining any ground or earning any points. Sometimes, making it to the final score seems too far away, so we keep our eyes on just making it to the next 10 yards to get the 1st down. Don’t ever forget….we aren’t playing for just a national championship (although that is very nice), we are playing for the eternal prize, the Kingdom Championship…..where every tear will be wiped away and we’ll be face to face with Him!
  5. There’s no “I ” in Team: Everybody loves a football player who humbly acknowledges the team  won the game together, not a single showboat hogging the lime-light. Same with us. Whether it’s your team of volunteers or music team at your local church or its the Body of Christ, the Church universal, we are ALL on the same team and should have the same goal in mind. We support and encourage each other. We set each other up for success.

 

As I’ve thought about how to act more like a winning team, I also think about where I’m playing my game. I don’t just need to do my best in church ministry or when people are looking. My best game needs to be in all areas of my life….work….home….grocery shopping……with activities I enjoy but even more so with activities that I don’t enjoy. I need to bring my A game during sacred ministry (singing, teaching) as well as ordinary ministry (laundry, dishes). It’s easy to feel like winning when I’m doing stuff I love. Where I really need to crack down and play for 60, prepare, stay focused on the goal, play my position, and stay with the team is when I’m doing the stuff I don’t really like so much. That’s where God gets the most honor and where my acts of service and worship are more authentic and real.

Everybody loves to cheer for a winning team. Your team may or may not make it to a championship game. But, if we claim Jesus as our Head Coach, then we are on the Kingdom Team!!! No matter what position, no matter what mission is your playing field, play like a Champion Christian!!

Roll Tide!!!

~Amy

 

Remain in My Love

No matter where you come from or what kind of raisin’ you’ve had or what kind of life you’ve lived. …No matter if you’re in a season of lean or a season of plenty. No matter if you’ve really messed it up big or done everything “right”…No matter your color, size or zip code..

We are ALL looking for the same thing: Love

Even though we are all looking for the same thing, there’s a zillion different ways we go about it. We go “looking for love all the wrong places”……sounds like an old country song, right? It is….I grew up listening to 80’s country. Johnny Lee, 1980. Sure, it’s a great ballad cliche, but it’s true. We search for love in relationships, stuff, careers, etc, etc…….

But there’s only One way to get the love we are all searching for…..Remain in My Love.

Jesus said in John 15:9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” Our joy is complete, like it says in the next couple of verses, by being filled to overflowing of His Love (verse 11). Abiding in and soaking in His Presence. Having a revelation of how much He really cares for you.

Remaining in His Love is like being grafted into a vine where the source of nourishment never runs out. That’s why He says “I am the vine and you are the branches” in that same chapter. Remaining in His Love is like being a well where the water never runs out or a waterfall that never ends. That’s why He says “Rivers of living water will flow from his heart” Mark 7:38

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For all our searching and feeble attempts at being loved whether it’s through a relationship, food, drugs, possessions, job status, etc…the list goes on, there is nothing that satisfies more than the love of Christ. Nothing can compare to the security and safety of His Love.

So, no matter which side of the tracks you’ve been or where you are going, do you know how much He Loves you? Have you experienced a revelation of God’s Love?

But what if you don’t feel like He loves you??

Next time…….Part 2 Nothing Can Separate

~Amy

I Know You

Dear Beloved,

I see you.

Yes, I see your prayers, your effort, and your good intentions. I see your desires and how you are waiting for things to take shape. I see your disappointments and your failures. I see every act of kindness, every act of service, and even when you hold your tongue. And yes, I also see every impatient word, every selfish motive, and every unholy thought. I see each act of wood, hay, or stubble, and I see every act of gold, silver, and precious stone.  I see you.

I know you.

I know your joys and what makes your heart soar. I know your dreams- the ones that have come to pass, the ones that are blooming, and even the ones that are a whisper in your heart. I know because when I knit you together I planted them there. I know your insecurities too. I know that you may look put together on the outside, but that little girl on the inside is unsure about everything. Yes, I know you.

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I love you.

Hear me…..I love you. My Beloved, you must understand much I love you…no wait…I adore you! I love your strengths and skills. I love the way you’ve grown over the years. I even love the goofs you’ve made with a pure heart. Those are often the most precious to me. But, don’t ever think for a second that any mistake could make me love you less. My love will never change. I love you.

So, while you may sometimes wonder where I am, or if anything will ever change, or if any of it does any good……just remember:

I see you. I know you. I love you.

With All My Heart,

Abba Father

 

Valued Not Successful

I want to let you in on a little secret of mine. Some of you may have figured it out already. I’ve always dreamed of being famous!

As a girl, I got bit by the stage bug singing, performing, and playing instruments. I Loved It! I remember as a teenager wondering if I could make it on Broadway or even become a vocal powerhouse singer.Where most people say, “I can’t stand speaking in front of people”,  I rather like it. Hand me the mic and I know exactly what to say!

Well, as you can tell, Broadway never called, and Adele is the reining queen!

As I grew up, however, I developed more of a desire to use my skills in ministry to encourage and share Christ with people. Even with my genuine desire to be more Kingdom focused than famous, that stage bug sometimes often reared its little head. The success of a presentation or performance fed that little bug so that I usually questioned myself-“Do they like me? Did I impress them? Am I better than her?” Even worse, when I messed up (which happened often) I was hugely embarrassed or insecure. Amywowshirt

My relationship with God was contingent upon my success as well. Or so I thought.  I felt like I had to be good enough so that God would approve of me. I felt good about my relationship with God when I was doing my best for Him. “If I moved them, surely God approved! I must be special if God used me”

God has certainly helped me to starve this pride-swelling, ego-flairing “famous-bug” through the years. I’m pretty good at recognizing when it tries bite me. So, it was an inspiration when I found a statement that dramatically changed the way I pray stopping this little guy dead in its tracks….This prayer quietly scrolled through my Facebook feed this year and sunk deep into my heart.

Lord, help me not to be successful but to be of value!”

Success. In the eyes of our culture, it is measured in numbers, ticket sales, accolades, and applause. It looks on the outside, the image we project, a facade.

Being of value, however, is measured by the intent of my heart to use my skills for others-to encourage the weary, inspire the hungry, and speak truth to the broken-hearted. It takes the expectation and pressure off of what I’m doing to get results and places the focus simply on loving my neighbor.  When being of value is the motivation of my heart, my efforts (powered by the Holy Spirit because He’s the One who does it all anyway) bear fruit lasting for eternity, not just momentary applause or praise. The ultimate result is that He gets all the glory, which we can agree is way better than being famous!bodyofChrist

So whether it’s been our largest WoW gathering in 2016 or quietly serving with that one precious baby in the nursery….whether I’m in front of a big crowd or just an audience of One, my prayer is to be of value rather than to be successful.

How are you being of value rather than being a success?

~Amy

 

Where do we start praying for our girls?

It’s a delight and honor to have the opportunity to share some encouragement at Prayers for Girls!! I will be joining several other girl moms in how we can all better prayer for our daughters. There are several ways you can get connected with a great bunch of moms:

-Visit Prayers for Girls and subscribe to the free monthly calendar of Scripture-based prayers for your girls

-Like Prayers for Girls Facebook page

-Read my first contributing blog post here: Where do we start praying for our girls?

-Check out my contributor’s page here: Amy Satterfield

Thank you for hopping over there to read it. I’m REAL excited!! Would you do me a favor and share it on Facebook or with a friend?

~Amy

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