Thursday, April 28, 2011

#175 - Divine Sense of Purpose

Good morning! Hope you are doing well. If you are feeling a bit down or out of sorts, the Word is there to encourage, lift up, and give you answers to whatever it is you may be going through. The Word truly does have the answers we are looking for! Let's get going.
Eccl. 3:1, 3b, 11a - TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: .... a time to break down and a time to build up... He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]...
Where are you at in life right now? Are you happy? Are you sad? Are you experiencing frustrations and valleys? Or, are you on a mountain top of success & accomplishment? Debt? Or financial abundance?

Ecclesiastes begins with the Preacher talking about the great abundance of wisdom & material things in which he was living. He decides to apply himself to seeking out what appears to make others happy. In chapter 2, you'll see that he builds houses, vineyards, pools, brings on servants, gathers silver & gold, wine. He acquires great substance, and even remained wise is says in verse 9. Whatever he desired, he acquired. At the end of his pursuit for happiness, he concluded that it was all vanity and amounted to nothing.

A man of such great substance, but joy did not come from the acquiring. Joy did not fill the home filled with so many 'things.' Chapter 3 then dives into talking about the 'seasons.' There is a season for everything. Sowing, reaping, mourning, dancing, peace, war, etc. Seasons. Seasons do not last forever. Seasons pass. Praise the Lord! Are you tired of the cold winter? Spring & life are coming! Buds on trees, flowers in bloom! Summer is coming! Beaches, pools, sand, grilling out. Summer is coming.  Seasons last for a period and then the tide changes.

Have you been in your season for awhile? Are you ready for the change? Have you been in a time of 'breaking down' and you are just thinking, "When is it time to build up? When is it my time to win? When is it time for joy, abundance, fulfillment?" Your season is coming! Your season to win is upon you! Wait it out. Don't quit.

Make sure your motives are right. We see this preacher pursuing every material thing, yet it did not bring fulfillment. Eccl 3:11 answers a question, and brings clarity to what our focus should be, let's re-read it: "He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]..." A divine sense of purpose has been placed in YOUR heart & mind! A DIVINE sense of purpose! Nothing but God can satisfy that yearning you have in your heart & mind. God Himself, has placed a divine sense of purpose on the inside of you. In the flesh, you may yearn for the house. You want to move from an apartment to a house, you want to upgrade your vehicle, you want bills and bill collectors not hanging over your head, you think that just to accomplish and move up in those areas, you will be happy. Only to arrive to that place and there be something else, something new.

A divinely implanted sense of purpose which only GOD can satisfy. Success in your business, will be futile. Success in your job, futile. Success in your finances, futile. Unless the underlying focus for ALL you and I pursue is to fulfill the purpose and calling that God has placed on our lives! To purge the underlying things that we "think" will make us happy, and pursue with fervor His purpose. Helping people. Changing lives. Drawing people to His Kingdom. Pursuing with excellence the calling He has placed on our life, the specific way He has called us to make a difference for the Kingdom. We were ALL put here as a piece to the puzzle of God. God's big master-plan, and WE have a part to play. We have a job that needs to be done.

An unhealthy focus on "acquiring things" can pervert our ability to pursue with purity of heart. In our purity of heart, in our pursuit of God, the other things will eventually follow. His desire is to bless His children! His desire is to provide. He is a good God! But we must not stray from our first love. We must not stray from the pursuit that only God alone can satisfy. Pressing in to Him. Pressing in to the One who makes all things possible, the One who gives us life, air to breathe, love.

A divinely implanted sense of purpose. What is yours? Are you pursuing it? Go make YOUR eternal difference in the world. God accomplish YOUR purpose! It is YOUR SEASON! The tide is changing for you! Take a deep breath. It's your season! It's your time! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

#174 - Is there enough Time in Today?

Good morning! :) I pray all is well with you?! Things here are great. Went to bed a bit early, starting out the morning awesome, and the Word of God is ALIVE & ACTIVE like a two-edged sword! Hebrews 4:12, "For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart." The WORD is ALL of that! That is powerful! Well, praise God that we serve a RISEN Savior! That even today, we can commune with, be directed by & enjoy a friendship with a living God! I'm thankful for that!
Proverbs 31:15 - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.
This morning as I sat down to have my Quiet Time, I began to journal.... and this morning I began listing out ALLLLLL the things that are on my mental "To-Do" list. In a way I was kind of whining to the Lord. Not really totally whining, but just trying to figure out what has the most priority on it, because all the things are important. I was just journaling out my thoughts to the Lord, kind of in a "HELP" mode. Have you ever done that? Either in your mind, on paper or out-loud? You think, "How is it humanly possible to get all of this done today? I just need more time." Well... those were some of my thoughts.

I read through Proverbs 26, nothing really jumping out at me except the obvious.... "don't be a fool!" It talked a lot about "the fool." I then proceeded to jump over to Proverbs 31. Though I have read this chapter what seems like hundreds of times, I just felt like this amazing woman must have some insight into planning. I just knew that she surely had it together in this area of "accomplishing" and "getting things done." I mean, she is the infamous Proverbs 31 woman! She is the woman who "excels them all" as it says in verse 29. Surely she could reveal to me the secret. Right?

I read through the chapter, through my underlining, circled words, highlighting, scratches in the margins... and as I completed the chapter, I was still just drawn back to one of my favorite verses. Proverbs 31:15. I say "favorite"... but it may just jump out at me because it is still something that I know I need to work on. Now, don't you go and tell Tyler to read this devotion! He doesn't read all of them, but this one, he could very well come out saying, "I told you so!" But, praise the Lord for Tyler. He's an amazing husband and probably the #1 thing he's learned over the years is to cast ME on the Lord. He doesn't try to change me, he just casts me on the Lord. He lets the Lord deal with me and make me better! Which is good.... probably the stubbornness of my childhood may just rear up and buck if someone tried to "make me do something." However, the Lord has His way of prodding us, doesn't He?

So, I'm reading Proverbs 31:15, "She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks." Sure, we know that Franklin Covey wasn't around when this was originally written. As well, she wasn't able to go down to her nearest Office Depot to pick up a DayTimer. Right? But.... imagine with me, if you could read while closing your eyes, I'd have you do that... but just imagine this... She, our Proverbs 31 friend & example, wakes up, crawls out of bed leaving her sleeping husband still there, she quietly puts on her house-shoes (slippers for those of you up north!), brushes her teeth and pulls up her hair, then slips downstairs. The house is quiet, the windows reveal the darkness still hanging outside, the birds are even still sleeping and the only sound is the occasional chirp of a cricket. She gets the coffee ready and pours herself a cup, most likely doctoring it with honey or something good for you (OK, she might not even drink coffee... just go with me on this. *wink*) There at the table, she sits down and begins to get her "spiritual food." She begins getting in the Word, listening and talking to the Holy Spirit. She is not beyond learning. She is pulling out gold nuggets from the Word, she is learning, she is growing. After her spiritual hunger is filled, she moves on to listing out the tasks and assignments of that day, including what the maids are to accomplish. I would imagine, she also lists out those things that SHE wants to accomplish that day. With the direction of the Holy Spirit, she prioritizes & is led with a plan for the day. Since she is in-tune with the Holy Spirit, and has already been communing with Him, if she writes something down that would be done in vain, HE prompts her not to do that today, it wouldn't go well, the person that you need to talk to wouldn't be there, so don't go to the "Market Store" today. She LISTENS to the promptings, wraps up her list/schedule of activities for the day, begins to prepare breakfast for her family, slips back upstairs to put on her clothes for the day, a touch of make-up, her hair in a neat pony-tail, and the hustle and bustle of the house begins! The house awakens. The birds begin to chirp, the kids begin to arouse, and everyone wakes up hungry and ready to eat, the smell of bacon already pulling them out of bed.

Sounds like a "dreamy" morning, doesn't it? Peaceful, but planned. Just the idea of "coming out with a plan" for the day sounds grande, doesn't it? I know I went through a season of doing really good at this! I accomplished a LOT with "planning my day." As I read this morning, I was prompted that ALL of my things can get done if I would only have a plan. "You can't just fly by the seat of your pants if you want to accomplish all that I have for you," I felt the Holy Spirit prompting.

So... this morning, I'm getting my notebook back out. "6 Things Before 11:00" was one of my goals. It allowed me to accomplish a lot. God has big plans for me, so I need to PLAN in order to get done all that He has for me!

Do you need to plan too? Is there enough time in today? There is EXACLY enough time to accomplish the things the Holy Spirit wants me & you to accomplish, we just have to ask Him!

Be blessed! ~ Amy J

Monday, April 25, 2011

#173 - Praise as Sweet as Honey!

Good morning! I pray you had a great Easter! Time to enjoy family, food & a celebration of our ALIVE JESUS!?! :) What a blessed time. We had a great time visiting with family, and I must say that my mother-in-law, Jeannine, outdid herself with an UH-MAZING lunch yesterday! It was pretty awesome. What a blessing to have home-cooking! It really does beat any restaurant! Thanks J! :)

Let's get started:
Proverbs 25:16 - Have you found [pleasure sweet like] honey? Eat only as much as is sufficient for you, lest, being filled with it, you vomit it.
Proverbs 25:27 - It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her.
Proverbs 31:31 - Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!
In our Proverbs 25 verses, both talk about honey. Sweet, honey. In the Hebrew, that is exactly what it means. Honey means honey. Unlike some other words in the Hebrew, it does not give us a plethora of other definitions of the word. Although, verse 27 does take honey and compare it to men seeking their own glory. It compares it in the latter part of the verse as something that men/women can crave. Notice. Recognition. Praise. Admiration. It compares the sweetness, the gratifying feeling that "praise" brings, that recognition brings.

So... we have two avenues to walk down on this one. We can first walk down the avenue that is just a blanket fact. Craving pure honey, sweets, sugar, desserts. Desiring and filling oneself with these pleasure in excess is highly not recommended in both verses. Proverbs 25 verse 16 does not say that sweets, desserts are bad, but it recommends using wisdom when eating them. Eat ONLY what is sufficient for that sweet tooth, pull the reigns back from allowing yourself to indulge.

OK. One word: GUILTY! Here we come, off of a great holiday.... for me, a week and a half of baking just because I felt like it! Baking, leads to needing to get rid of the "baked goods." Right?! Have you ever been eating, and you are no longer hungry, but you just want to eat more anyways because it is so good? You don't desire more, but you know that once you leave, the yummy treat will be all, so, you indulge! Guilty! Our Proverbs 25 verses remind us of to hold back! Consequences? Vomiting. Not feeling good. Feeling heavy, bloated, maybe depressed. Self-control is an underlying theme in both verse 16 & 27. I heard a trick from Dr Duke Johnson about desserts. He said to enjoy them, but to eat the best bites first! The first bite sends a "sensation" signal to your brain like, "Ooooh! This is so good." The taste-buds are heightened. Then the 2nd bite, the sensation signal that is sent to the brain isn't as strong. The 3rd bite, less strong. And before you know it, you get to the last bite and sure, it's still good, but not "THE" good like the 1st bite. So... make the 1st bite the best! He said, after having several of the best bites, you can often push the rest of the "cheesecake"back. You've already eaten the best bites of it, now just the "scraps" are left over.

That was a bit of a tangent.... but, hopefully one you can use. I'd like us to take a look at the Proverbs 31 women. Proverbs 25:27 compares eating honey, consuming in it's sweetness to seeking glory. Everyone loves to be praised. Everyone likes a pat on the back, appreciation, recognition - whether in private or public. I was even reading about potty-training this morning.... to have a POTTY dance after your little one goes potty as a way of praising them, or showing them they did a good job. Now... I'm not recommending that YOU adopt a "potty dance" (that would be funny though, especially if you don't have a little kid!)... but look to what the Proverbs 31 woman did! Two things happened for her to receive praise. FIRST: her children & her husband praised her. She was praised by those closest to her. Not praise sought out, praise that was freely given. SECONDLY: her WORKS praised her. She let her accomplishments speak for themselves. She did everything to the best of her ability, and she let the quality of her work speak for her. The quality of her work, the consistency of her work, the results of her work, she let her results, her work speak for themselves.

Allow your family, friends, co-workers to do a "dance" for you! Allow them to sing your praises. Allow your works to do a "dance" for you. That you do such great work, that it shines through. You receive praise, recognition, but in a way that is received with humility. Others given instead of self given.

So... if you want praise, let your work shine. If you want praise, sow praise. Praise others for their good work. Create your own "dance" for your friends and family when they do good! Praise others and you too will get praised! Praise... as sweet as honey!

Friday, April 22, 2011

#172 - "Stick with Me!"

Good morning! It's a blessed day and will be a blessed weekend! Today, PRAISE GOD is SUCH a GOOD day! It's GOOD FRIDAY! Today is the day that Jesus DECIDED to go to the cross for us, to suffer & endure the pain, knowing it was the only way that we may be able to enter in to heaven, knowing it was the only way that we may experience the FULLNESS of freedom! Praise the Lord for Jesus! Praise the Lord that He was WILLING to sacrifice for us, to give up His will & that He didn't just call a legion of angels to rescue Him off the cross. What selflessness! Fully man on earth, He sacrificed it all for us that we may have life. It is a good day. Actually here in Columbia, the weather is even representative of what it may have been on that day, overcast, cloudy, no sun visual in the sky. The great news? SUNDAY IS COMING! When our Jesus rose victoriously & defeated death, hell & the grave! He defeated Satan! He WON once and for all, and because of His victory, WE TOO can now experience victory! He defeated Satan for us and now, as believers, by just ONE Word, "JESUS", Satan is under our feet! PRAISE GOD! Thank you Jesus!

Well... let's get going...
Proverbs 22:12a - The eyes of the Lord keep guard over knowledge and him who has it...
Proverbs 22:17 - LISTEN (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge.
Proverbs 22:29 - Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
Proverbs 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
Where to even start?? "Stick with Me" is what I heard the Holy Spirit saying to me this morning. "Stick with Me." As I was reading through Proverbs, again amazed at how the Holy Spirit can string scripture together, and bring it together in a way that we have never seen before, though our eyes have read and re-read those very verses countless times. He simply is amazing!

I was interested first of all to notice that the Lord keeps guard over the man or woman who have knowledge, who possess knowledge. I thought, "Well, I want the Lord to keep guard over me!" Right? Isn't that an obvious thought. Of course we want the Lord to keep guard over us. Keep us safe. Keep us in a position of favor. Keep us, period. Keep us on His path, traveling the right way. Keep us in His will. Keep us moving in success, moving in divine favor, moving in accordance and in the TIMING of the Holy Spirit. Because "timing" can be pretty important, right?!

Aside from being in the Word, allowing the Word to speak to you, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to you, I believe Proverbs 22:17 gets us some additional insight into gaining knowledge. "LISTEN to the words of the wise." Listening to the wise provides one avenue to gain knowledge. I find it interesting that it says, "LISTEN" to the wise. LISTEN! It doesn't say "TALK" to the wise, it says "LISTEN". Have you ever been in the presence of someone and EVERY time you are with them they are talking about themselves? They are talking and talking and talking, barely even taking a breath. Telling you everything they are good at, what they do, their background, where they came from, everything. You don't even have to ask them any questions, they will keep the "one-way" conversation going, if you will just not interrupt. Proverbs 22:17 reminds us to "LISTEN." I heard someone say once, "There's no need for me to talk, I already know everything I know. I may actually learn something if I listen." Good listeners are hard to find.

Gaining knowledge? Gaining wisdom? One beginning step, seek out some who is wise. They may possess wisdom in ONE aspect of what you are looking for, they may not be the "whole" package, but they may have wisdom in: business, raising kids, finances, the Word, marriage, relationships, communicating, writing, sewing, potty-training. They may not have it all. But seek them out for the wisdom that you may need at this time. It's called, "The BODY of Christ." We are a body for a reason, to help one another. Seek out someone who you can buy a cup of coffee, who you can just sit and LISTEN. As you do, you will be gaining knowledge.

One verse that I've always thought is neat, and used to think was impossible was Proverbs 22:29. Imagine, being so skillful in your trade that you stand before KINGS! You stand before world leaders! You stand before the President and the First Lady! You stand before your hero's in ministry. I was reminded this morning, on my path to gaining wisdom and knowledge, this is no longer something that is impossible! And the Proverbs 31 woman, ALSO rejoices over the future, maybe she rejoices over knowing that even THIS is a possibility for her! Standing before a King because of her gift? Wow! Just imagine. I was thinking this morning how amazing that it would be to stand before the Queen of England, to be in her presence and be called by name. Wow! What an honor that would be! That is when I heard the Holy Spirit say, "Stick with Me."
Ephesians 3:20 - Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]. 
MY FATHER will do "SUPERABUNDANTLY" more than I dare even ask or think? INFINITELY beyond my hopes or dreams. Standing before a King or Queen would be pretty amazing. WOW! But imagine being a "counselor" to them, a "friend!" WOW! That would be beyond my dreams. But, I can THINK it, so God can make it come to pass! Maybe YOU write or speak, make bags, design clothes, make baby items, golf, love training leaders, are a great cook, can turn wood into something amazing with your carpentry? This morning I thought about Prince William and his fiance, Kate, carrying around one of my books. To have a real PRINCESS reading a book that I write. That would be cool. And I'm sure just the media exposure alone, would be awesome for the book. Whatever it is for YOU, GOD can do what you could NEVER imagine! Whatever it is that you are skillful in, God can BRING YOU before KINGS! So START IMAGINING!

Have you always wanted to do something great? Deep in your mind you've thought, "Man, I just want to make a huge impact! I want to be different! I want to do something radically great! I want to change things for the better. I want to help people." Deep in your heart and mind, have you desired to be more than just average? Well.... I believe the Holy Spirit's word to you is what is was to me too.... "Stick with Me." Stick with the Holy Spirit. Stick with God. Stick with HIM! It is through HIM and HIS guidance that He will direct you to do what you are called to do, to do what you were designed for. He will bring you before GREAT MEN with your gift. So commit today to excellence. Commit to seeking wisdom and knowledge. And as the Holy Spirit said, "Stick with Me."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

#171 - Cowboy Up!

Good morning! It's going to be a great day because THIS IS THE DAY the LORD has made! Praise the Lord! Do I hear and Amen out there from wherever you are sitting?? Well, good! Amen. Let's get started.
Proverbs 21:31 - The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance and victory are of the Lord.
I remember reading this verse sometime when I lived at home with my parents. I remember that it stood out to me so, that I wrote it on an index card and pinned it on the wall next to my bedroom door. It's funny, because even today when I go home to visit and sleep in my old room, there it is, still on the wall, still pinned up for me to read. Today, it also jumped out with significance.

As a bit of a continuation from yesterday's devotion, "Endure because You Win!", I'd like to piggy-back off of some of the concepts from yesterday. Something that the Holy Spirit pressed on me heavily yesterday was this, "Press Back In! Press Back IN! PRESS BACK IN!" Have you ever started something with fervor and diligence, with excitement, to only find yourself a month, two months later just going through the "hum-drum" of life, no longer diligent in that area? What you began was a worthy pursuit, but in the process of pursuing you lost your consistency, you lost your drive, you lost your excitement? Well... I have been guilty of that.

Tyler sent me a voice note this morning while he was driving to an appointment. As he usually does, he was listening to a "Self-Improvement/Success" CD. In his message to me, he just reminded me of a couple who had arrived to a place in life where we aspire to be. He said, "Amy, this couple is no better than us, they just more consistently pursued their dream with focus. We can do that." He is right. God is no respecter of persons. If God has done something for one person, He can do it for you! God does not make any junk. You & I are already winners! We fought the odds and came out victorious! Are you trying to think of how you have done that? Well, think back to even the beginning! You are ONE in 300,000,000! That is THREE HUNDRED MILLION! When your parents got together there were 300,000,000 sperm trying to get to that egg! And do you know what? YOU SWAM the FASTEST! You fought the HARDEST! You edged your way in with the most diligence! You WON! You are already a winner. You are no accident! 299,999,999 others lost to you! When you think about it, the odds of winning like you did are probably similar odds to winning the lottery. YOU WON!

What I want to say is this, COWBOY UP! COWGIRL UP! If you, like me, lost some wind out of your sail, lost some diligence along the way, TODAY is the day to get back up! Get back on that horse! The HORSE is made ready for battle, but the VICTORY is of the LORD! What is your responsibility? Your responsibility is to BE PREPARED! BE ON THAT HORSE! Then... the cool thing is this, the "Victory" part is the Lord's responsibility! You just need to be prepared! You need to be in your place. You need to be doing YOUR JOB diligently. What is that? I'm sure you know exactly what it is for you... but here are some possibilities: Do you want to get pregnant? Maybe it's your job to get your body in shape to prepare for carrying a child. Do you want to be a light in your workplace for Jesus? Maybe to do so, you need to have more WORD in you to be prepared to share with people, maybe you need to be more girded up and strengthened by having a regular "Quiet Time" with just you and the Lord? Do you want to be a better mom? Wife? Maybe "COWGIRL UP" means evaluating your calendar and taking some things OFF of it so you can focus time on your family, raising up godly warriors? Learning to say one of the most spiritual words out there, "NO" and not adding more things to your plate, but taking away. Maybe you have a Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Amway, Premier jewelry business and you've lost your "umph" to add partners to your team, or sell products. Maybe for you it means getting your "handshake on" and reaching out to people. God has the people out there that are looking for what YOU have!

Cowboy up! Get back on that horse! NOW is the time like the Holy Spirit said to me, "PRESS BACK IN! PRESS BACK IN! PRESS BACK IN!"

Give God something to work with! Remember, the VICTORY is HIS responsibility. Your responsibility is to be diligent and prepared! When it's time for battle, to be on YOUR horse, be prepared! Don't leave your horse running into battle by himself! COWBOY UP!

Check out our upcoming little blessing! :) 
We are expecting this to be our little "Trin-Trin"! Trinity Faith.  Since I'm around 16 weeks pregnant right now, the Doctor officially tells us around 20 weeks. She'll be a blessing & Tyler Junior will be a GREAT big brother!

Doesn't he look like a politician in this picture?! HA! Minus the jello on his head! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#170 - Endure because YOU WIN!

Good morning! We're going to jump RIGHT in this morning. Such great WORD & revelations! Praise God that HE is not a dead God! That He is ALIVE and still speaks to us through His Word, that He reveals things to us, uncovers what seemed like mysteries. Praise God that we have the opportunity as HIS Children to enter into a relationship that can be growing and growing, that we can gain insight and wisdom EVERY SINGLE TIME we are in His presence! Praise GOD! I'm extremely grateful!

We're jumping off the reading schedule to some Spirit led scripture. Let's go...
Hebrews 12:1-3 -  ... let us throw aside every unnecessary weight... which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before usLooking away from all that will distract to Jesus, Who is the Leader ...  He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (3)Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
We are called to ONLY run the appointed course that is BEFORE US! We don't have to think of the section of the course for next week or next year, just the portion of the course that is before us NOW! Just run our race TODAY!!!! Stay FOCUSED ahead.... like a runner, we are not looking down at our feet nor are we looking around just aimlessly taking in all the scenery, we are staying FOCUSED on who is ahead of us, the LEADER who IS paving the way.

Jesus endured the cross, WHY? For the JOY of obtaining the prize. He knew that the PRIZE was greater than what He would currently have to endure. The PRIZE was greater than the pain. Right here, right in this point is where many people quit, they loose heart, they faint. BUT, when we keep our eyes focused on our Leader, and we keep the Joy of the prize in mind, we run with the "end in sight" KNOWING that we have ALREADY won.... WE TOO can ENDURE in the race!

Now wait... it gets better! I've always stopped at verses 1 & 2. I've read those, and then stopped. But, WOW, verse 3 is UH-MAZING! So... it says basically.... "Look, take a look at Jesus, think about it.... He endured the cross, the torment, the pain, the mockery, the hostility, people sneering and snickering at Him.... just think about it, CONSIDER all HE went through to the CURRENT trial you may be going through..." OK.... let's take a pause right there. I ALMOST had to LOL at this point. Consider MY trials in comparison to what HE endured on the cross?! Now if that is not a JOKE, I don't know what is! My trials hold NO water, no ground to what He endured on the cross and leading up to it. But... let's continue. So WHY did he endure and go through all of that? Let's finish verse 3, "so that YOU may not grow weary or exhausted! So that YOU may not loose heart, relax and grow faint in your mind! He endured it not ONLY for your salvation, so that you could live in heaven when you pass, but He also endured it so that the CURRENT section of your race could be run without you being exhausted. Without you growing weary. Without you growing tired! Without you toiling in your MIND! He endured the cross for MUCH more than just mere salvation! Salvation is just the stepping off point!!

Why can you have Unwavering Confidence? Because CHRIST endured so that YOU & I could have VICTORY! Sweat-less VICTORIES! Why can you have JOY in the endurance? Because you know the end of the story! Whatever you are going through, IF you will only ENDURE, be patient, and CONTINUE on this section of your course, YOU TOO WILL BE VICTORIOUS! It says in Phil. 1:6, that HE will carry out what He has began in YOU to completion! Have you started something and not yet had victory in it? BE PATIENT! ENDURE! CONTINUE in your race! And.... if you are a bit brave, you can EVEN enjoy it!! It says that JESUS endured so that you could run your race without getting weary, without losing heart, without getting faint, without getting exhausted. YOU CAN HAVE SWEAT-LESS victories if you will ONLY continue on your course!

**** Pre-requisite **** - IF you do not FINISH the course, you will not see the victory that you have been waiting for! The key is, KEEP your EYES FOCUSED on your Leader! Like running a cross-country race, or track. Keep your EYES on the back of the One that you are following, Jesus! Keep your eyes on Him and RUN right through into the finish line of this section of your race! WIN this section! The race is on-going! It continues! We won't be finished until heaven, so on earth we will be in this constant race..... but I encourage you, when you have the end in mind (ie: YOU WIN) you can have JOY in today's endurance! You know the end of the movie! You know the end of the story! You know that YOU will be the one, standing on the stage, holding the trophy to prove that YOU HAVE ENDURED! YOU HAVE WON!
James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive THE VICTOR'S CROWN!!!

Amen & Amen!
That was good stuff! It ministered to me! Praise the Lord! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#169 - How to get REFRESHED!

Computer errors caused part of this blog to get deleted. I believe that even after filling in some gaps, it will bless you! I pray I didn't forget anything. The enemy did NOT want you to get this one!!! The Holy Spirit told me that His people DO need this Word!

Good morning! Well, I must say it is a beautiful morning out! I am officially on my back porch.... had a cup of hot chocolate, now on to some English tea and the birds are just chirping away! It is absolutely peaceful! I can only imagine what it would be like to live on a property with lots of land, not ever hearing ANY cars or neighbors, just nature! Wow! A small piece of heaven, I'm sure! I look forward to OUR piece of land like that!!

We are going to stray off the path a little bit as I want to share some insight with you into a very popular Psalm that I'm sure many of you could quote! Let's get started.
Psalm 23:1-4 - THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. 3He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake. 4Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
Sunday at church, my Pastor talked about Psalm 23 and the power of resting. As he was sharing scripture and going through some things, it was just like the Holy Spirit was revealing me so much even in what was not said. I was having some pretty exciting revelations in regards to Psalm 23 & resting. What is in store for those who rest.  Let's jump into things a bit.

In the Hebrew, verse 2, "leads" can be also translated as to "give rest, bring to a place of rest, refresh, cause to rest." However, in verse 3, the Hebrew word for "lead" is talking strictly about "to lead, bring or guide." It is not referring to "resting."

The power of RESTING in obedience?
As I sat in church listening to the Pastor, in my head I started thinking about what an oasis these green pastures would be to actual sheep. The Pastor made reference to how the sheep could just graze endlessly all day long. The grass was green, plush, yummy... perfect. When they got full, they could lay down, take a nap, go down to the still waters and drink. EVERYTHING that a sheep would need was provided for and laid out! ALL of their needs were met, there at the green pastures! Here's where my mind started to go off.... WHAT would "green pastures" look like for me, the believer? Green grass is great for a sheep, but I'm not going to eat green grass. What would "green pastures" be for me? Check this out! If to a sheep it meant TOTAL FULFILLMENT, ABUNDANCE, NEEDS COMPLETELY MET, that is what it would mean to me too! Total Fulfillment? Yes! My needs being met in every area. Finances? Abundance. Food to feed my family? Abundance. Clothing? Abundance. Health? Abundance - wholeness. When I and YOU allow ourselves to go to these green pastures, we set ourselves up for restoration. Verse 3 says that in this place, HE, our Father, refreshes and restores our life!

Are you running ragged? Are you tired? Are you feeling burnt out? When was the last time you visited the GREEN PASTURE? It is a place where RESTORATION comes! It is a place where YOU & I will get REFRESHED!

Why Rest?
Very simple. Re-read the beginning of verse 4, "Yes, though I walk through the valley..." We are ALL going to have valley's in our life at some point! Since we live IN the World and Satan is currently it's prince, bad things are bound to happen. Now, don't get me wrong, I am probably one of the greatest "Optimists" that you will ever meet. I believe that I have been set up to be BLESSED because I am following the will of God for my life, and if you are walking in obedience, I believe the same for you. God's desire is to bless His children.

Let's jump back... "I walk through the valley..." - THERE is the KEY for you & I! For the born-again believer! THERE is the key! To walk THROUGH the valley's of life! Not to STAY there! Not to STAY in the valley! Not to LAY DOWN in the valley. Not to make our HOME in the valley! We are to walk THROUGH the valley's that we come to. Man this is good! Are you getting this!?!?

And HERE is the KICKER! What makes someone ABLE to walk THROUGH the valley instead of STAYING in the valley? Because they have RESTED. They are REFRESHED. They are RESTORED. We are not meant to STAY in the valley! We are meant to go THROUGH the valley. We are not meant to lay down in the valley, to put up camp in the valley. We aren't meant to wallow in the valley, we are meant to go THROUGH the valley. As believers living in the WORLD, we cannot always prevent bad things from coming at us... even Paul reminds us of this in the New Testament, BUT to a degree, we can prevent how long we stay in that place. By RESTING, observing a Sabbath, we can get girded up with strength so that the "valley season" can be quicker, so that we are able to withstand the enemy, we are able to walk through the valley to the other side VICTORIOUS! The enemy wants you to STAY in the valley. How can we glorify God if we remain in a bad place, if we remain in disaster, turmoil. We glorify God when we are on the OTHER SIDE of the valley VICTORIOUS. Pre-requisite? Proper rest in the green pastures and beside the still waters.

The disadvantage to being FORCED to rest? 
I heard a pastor once talk about how he never took a day of rest. He never really rested. Being in the ministry, he traveled and shared the gospel all the time, but did not himself rest. After awhile it took a toll on his body and he was FORCED to rest. He was laid up in bed with back problems for some time and was MADE to rest. I've heard him recount the situation and say that he believes he could have avoided it if only he would have taken a priority to rest. So... by choice or by force, your body needs to rest. I choose to do it on my terms, healthy and having an enjoyable time versus being laid up in bed, or worse, being in a hospital somewhere.

Not a ONE-TIME Event
Just like our bodies repair themselves each night when we sleep. I feel like each week, a Sabbath Day of Rest does the same thing. Tyler and I choose to schedule a Day of Rest EACH WEEK. We notice if we miss a week, we feel bogged down and tired. Don't get me wrong, it takes planning, especially when you factor in children, jobs, etc. We just started somewhere. If you can't do a "whole" day right now, start with a few hours or a half day. Start with scheduling some time to rest. By no means do I want to force my opinion or view of the Word on you... but if the shoe fits for you, maybe you should wear it too. Maybe you might just benefit from resting.


Powerful blog on it's way..... Already written, though getting an "error" in posting it! The enemy does not want people to hear this message. Please pray for all to work properly & the message to be able to post.

Thanks! Amy
Amy J. McCart-Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 18, 2011


Hello! I hope you're having a great day!

I'm enjoying my Day of Rest. When was the last time you had a Day of Rest where you did NO work?!? Try it, you'll love it and come out refreshed! :)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

#168 - Are you in Full Partnership?

Good morning! :) Today I have a 17 month old. Wow! He's turning into such a big boy!! He got a big-boy hair cut the other day at the barber shop with CLIPPERS! Wow! He looks so different.... so much older. He is so funny, just loves to be the center of attention and be goofy. We definitely laugh a lot around him. What a joy! Praise the Lord. :)

Let's get into the Word.
Proverbs 14:6 - A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.
Proverbs 31:11 - The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. 
Well....the Word does have a way to reveal & confirm things in our life, doesn't it? As I was reading about the scoffer, a few things came to mind. First of all, this person was SEEKING Wisdom. They were SEEKING. In the past, we've studied verses on the importance of SEEKING, searching out scripture, finding those hidden truths in the Word. Well, here this "scoffer" is SEEKING Wisdom.... but as we read further we see that it is done in vain. Wow! Who knew you could seek Wisdom, but it be in vain!? We see why it was in vain, because of his attitude! His attitude blinded and deafened him for really gaining the truth, really attaining answers and Wisdom.

I personally had to to an "Attitude Check" for myself. The Holy Spirit revealed some things in my life that up until recently had been faulty, wrong. I'll share shortly (arghhh... OK, let's take a look at Amy's faults again! ha!! that's ok!)

Proverbs 31:11, gives us a bit of insight into how the relationship is between the Proverbs 31 wife and her husband. He trusts in her CONFIDENTLY, he relies on her, he believes in her. They truly are a team working together in their strengths. Each bringing things to the table that completes the "PAIR" to make them a dynamic duo! Separately, there would be thing missing. BUT, the Proverbs 31 wife has proven to her husband that she is capable. Through her series of successes of taking a task, accomplishing it, producing income with it or producing things her family needs, she proves herself worthy of his belief!

I have fallen in the guilty category of, "I'm the wife, you are the big, strong husband. Ride in off your white horse. Conquer the giants. Handle the responsibilities. And when all is said and done, I will dust you off and we will go off and live 'happily ever after.' - That is, AFTER YOU have done all the hard work." All the while, happy to give my opinion, or even on the rare occasions, sometimes disapproval every once in awhile.

Falling into the category of "not being the equal", but being the "lesser half" because of not wanting to take responsibility. Full responsibility. I was reminded of several things this morning that take two. (1)The disciples were sent out 2 by 2. (2) Deut 32:30 - One can put 1,000 to flight, TWO can put 10,000 to flight. (3) Eccl 4:11 - If TWO lie together they keep warm, but one by himself is cold.

And the list could go on. It has been an easy thing to just want "the husband" to go out and slay the dragons of life and just be the rescued damsel in distress, but I don't think that was how we were designed to be. The Proverbs 31 wife, PROVED HERSELF WORTHY. She earned her rewards through diligence. She was very much a PARTNER with her husband. Right, wrong or indifferent, I have wanted to be the "rescued damsel" into the fairy tale story without doing my part, leaving the weight & responsibility unfortunately on Tyler.

Praise God for marriage. We are brought together to become ONE. Where TWO become ONE. We were designed to COMPLETE each other, with our gifts, talents & abilities to be able to COMPLETE the calling God has on our life.

Are you single? It's YOU & GOD then! He's your partner! But to those married folks.... any of you trying to "shirk" responsibility? Are you in full partnership? Well... it's just another area that I have to work on.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

#167 - Because of HIS delight...

What a beautiful day to be alive! We serve a God who is ALIVE, not only is His Word alive & active, like a two-edged sword, but HE IS ALIVE! Jesus is no longer in the grave, he's no longer on the cross, HE HAS RISEN! He is alive and well STILL sitting at the right-hand of our Father! Isn't that good news! That is worth being excited about. I believe you will be encouraged today. If you need encouragement, if you need hope, I believe you are in the right place. Let's get into the Word.
2 Samuel 22: 1a, 2, 20b, 21, 32-33,  - DAVID SPOKE to the Lord...The Lord is my Rock (of escape from Saul) and my Fortress (in the wilderness) and my Deliverer... He delivered me because He delighted in me. 21The Lord rewarded me according to my uprightness with Him; He compensated and benefited me according to the cleanness of my hands. For who is God but the Lord? And who is a Rock except our God? 33God is my strong Fortress; He guides the blameless in His way and sets him free. For You girded me with strength for the battle!
Man! What an amazing chapter! 2 Samuel 22 just blessed me this morning! So many verses, which to choose?!?!

For starters, look at how the chapter starts.... even David, who has been anointed to be the future King, it says that DAVID SPOKE to the Lord. As a quick tangent, we look back at the life of King Saul & David. From the day the people began to sing "Saul has Slain thousands, David tens of thousands." It says in 1 Samuel 18 that from that day Saul was angry & jealous towards David. It goes on to say, "THE NEXT DAY" an evil spirit came upon Saul. Wow! Because of Saul's anger & jealousy he held toward David "out-doing" him, from that day forward, an evil spirit was upon him! The POWER of offense can change a persons life! And for Saul, He went to his death holding offense against David, in hot pursuit to have him killed. But DAVID was delivered because the LORD delighted in Him!

Anyways... that was a freebie... let's move on.... David SPOKE to the Lord. He is reminding God of how He helped David escape from Saul, He delivered David! David is recounting the goodness, the blessings, the benefits of God his Father! Then my favorite line.... He delivered me because He delighted in me.  Wow! What delight just to read that! Just think about it, because of the Lord's pleasure and delight in YOU, His child, he delivers you from your TRIALS, your enemy... maybe it's debt, whatever it is.... because of HIS delight, He delivers you! That's exciting. In verse 21 it goes on to use some words that are exciting to me.... rewarded, compensated, benefited. By staying in right-standing, in a "seeking position" with our Father, in a "pleasing/serving" position with our Father, we can receive the benefits that He has in store. And it is a DELIGHT to Him to deliver us, and bring us into benefits!

Ultimately.... as we enter in to our day, whether completing a battle or entering into one, we can take JOY in knowing that we have been GIRDED, PREPARED, CLOTHED with strength for whatever we are about to go up against! Like David, killing the lion, the bear & Goliath, He was prepared!

In the last 2 days, I have heard not one, but two stories that make me want to shout! AND, I believe it was because of the Lord's DELIGHT that He chose to lead the events. One friend of mine told me that just this past week, her parents came to town with a new van. It had the remote to open the doors, and the back. It was nice. She said they walked in and handed them the keys. "We have done for the others, and haven't really ever done much for you. Here. We bought this for you. We want you to have it!" Fully paid for, taxes for the next 6 months, tags, insurance! PRAISE THE LORD! What a blessing of the Lord! God is good! The cool thing is, He is NO respecter of persons! What can happen for one, can happen for the next! He can do that for YOU! OR maybe, YOU will be the GIVER! What a joy to have the goal of being able to bless someone in that capacity who is in need. Maybe that is a new goal, to be the one in the position to GIVE! But if you need to receive it! Receive it for yourself! Receive what YOU need from the Lord!

Another awesome story.... a friend of mine was in need of money to get her vehicle fixed. She was without a vehicle! She had to resort to walking her kids to school, or where ever they needed to go. Well, wouldn't you know it, someone felt led to give her $2500! He just felt like the Lord laid it on his heart to GIVE to her. PRAISE THE LORD! I can only imagine that tears must have welled up in her eyes as she must have said or thought, "THANK YOU LORD! You HAVE heard me!" She was able to get her vehicle fixed!

Another friend was talking about donating plasma to have money to buy groceries. If she donated twice a week, she could get enough money to get groceries, with a little left over. Plasma! Needles! And that is definitely a viable way to get some extra cash when needed, but PRAISE GOD, our God even has MORE THAN ENOUGH for her! He has MORE THAN ENOUGH to provide for her needs, her husband and her small children! GOD has MORE THAN ENOUGH! And BECAUSE of HIS delight, we can walk in HIS favor, HIS blessing, HIS rewards, HIS abundance, HIS benefits!

Pray this morning! Maybe you are the "more than enough" that God wants to use to bless someone. And  maybe you are on the "need" side. KNOW that as you seek the Lord, delight yourself in Him, HE will delight in you! He will lead you, He will guide you, He will show Himself strong in being YOUR Jehovah Jirah, God YOUR Provider! You have been girded up and made ready for battle. And with GOD on your side, is there a chance you will loose? NO!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Good morning! Just wanted to let you know that I am taking my own personal, pro-longed time seeking the Lord this morning! Asking questions, seeking out the hidden treasures that I know He has for me... the answers. SO... enjoy your day! I am going to continue seeking out what I need to find!

Have a blessed day!

Thought: Take a little time today, out of the ordinary, to spend praying & listening. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

#166 - Pride Check

Good morning! I'm back out on my screened in porch! :) Yippee! I'm excited for my "outdoor" quiet times to begin. It's just so nice to hear the birds chirping and feel the outside breeze!

Alright, let's get going...
Proverbs 11:2 - When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.
Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. 
So... I remember in the last few months I noticed all three of our hydrangea bushes had been completely cut down to the ground. No signs of life, and by looking at them they didn't look like they could grow back up in time for me to enjoy them this spring and summer. I was kind of mad. I thought either landscapers were scheduled and came over or our neighbor had come over and cut them. Inside, I was upset. They are so beautiful when they are in bloom, and I was looking forward to them blooming again! I did find out that the landscaper did it..... and, I did find out that they are suppose to be cut back as they were in order for them to grow full again the next season. To my pleasure, the green leaves are rapidly growing and sprouting, and the bush that was nearly to the ground has grown quite rapidly in just a few weeks. I have officially cut the landscaper some slack, and realized that he must know a thing or two more than I do about bushes! Ha!

I didn't get to far past Proverbs 11:2 this morning. The words: "pride, emptiness, shame, humble, pruned, chiseled, and soundness" kept jumping out at me. So many words packed in one verse. So many words that can affect us in a good or bad way depending on what we choose. I started thinking about pride, and how a result of pride is ultimately emptiness and shame. In the Hebrew, pride is also described as arrogance. It's very easy for me to remember very obvious days in my life where arrogance was shining through! I'm sure my parents, sisters and brother can remember it too! Where I was just stubborn with arrogance. I did what I wanted, didn't care who it affected, and really didn't care about what your opinion was about it either! I was defiant! I had no desire to change for anyone, nor did I think I needed to change. I walked with my shoulders held back, my head high, and if you got in my way.... ooooh, you better watch out! Pride & arrogance could have been a description of who I was.

As I was listening to the Holy Spirit on the subject, he told me a few things that made a lot of sense.
All great leaders have been pruned. It is a matter of removing the unnecessary "flesh" & "self." Pruning is not bad, pruning is just getting rid of baggage, pruning is lightening the load. Pruning IS needed for the greatest beauty to be revealed. 
In the past, I would look at the word "pruning" or "chiseled by trial" and think of them as bad things, things I would avoid at all costs.... but, in all reality, they are not bad things. Learning. Being pruned, developed, growing up into someone who will do GREAT & MIGHTY things for the Lord.

Think about this... it says, WITH the humble, the lowly, those who have been pruned & chiseled by trial, renounced SELF, WITH those people is skillful & godly Wisdom AND SOUNDNESS! Ooooh! Lacking soundness of mind, or peace of mind? Maybe that is an opportunity to do a pride-check. Are there areas in our lives where we maybe need to ask ourselves:

  • Is it all about me & MY way? 
  • Am I just not willing to submit my ego? Or am I not willing to submit myself to someone in authority to me? (God, Spouse, Boss, Mentor, Pastor, etc) 
  • Am I pridefully holding on to things that is causing me NOT to walk in soundness of mind, not to walk in peace? 
Walking in humility brings Wisdom & soundness. When we look at the Proverbs 31 woman, we can even see that at SOME point in her life, in her development into this "Ultimate Woman", she too was pruned & chiseled by trial. A result? She opens her mouth in skillful & godly Wisdom! She is a woman of grace & humility. She is well respected among her family, husband & community. 

Pruning isn't bad, it's necessary for growth. I'm sure as spring and summer approach us, I will be happy about the landscaper pruning my bushes back. Pruning off the dead weight of its branches. The Holy Spirit doesn't let me get away with it either! I have recently have had to do pride checks for myself, and lower my pride in a certain areas. Pride was holding back God's best & MY DESIRE is to walk in God's Best & His Favor! 

I encourage you today.... do a Pride Check. Are you holding offense towards someone because of pride? Is there someone in your life that you need to submit your ego too? Let's receive WISDOM & SOUNDNESS together & lower our pride! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

#165 - A Winner GETS BACK UP!

Good morning! We were surprised yesterday evening... I got a phone call and "Maamaa & Paapaa" wanted to see if "the boy" could come over and spend the night. :) HELLO! OF COURSE! :) "Maamaa & Paapaa" watch Tyler Junior once a week and are like grandparents to him. They love him and he loves them! What a blessing! SO... I sit here in a quiet, empty home. Just me, my typing and chirps from the birds outside.

Let's get going...
Proverbs 8:10,14,17,18,21 - Receive my instruction in preference to [striving for] silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold... 14I have counsel and sound knowledge, I have understanding, I have might and power. 17I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me. 18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness ... 21That I may cause those who love me to inherit [true] riches and that I may fill their treasuries.
Let's quick jump into some Hebrew as a foundation of what we are going to read...
  • Riches (Proverbs 8:18) - wealth & riches
  • Honor (Proverbs 8:18) - abundance, riches, honor, reverence, dignity, glory, splendour, reputation
  • Inherit (Proverbs 8:21) - to get as a possession, to TAKE possession, to acquire, to be allotted
  • Fill (Proverbs 8:21) - fullness, abundance, to be full, to be accomplished, to be satisfied, complete, to be filled
  • Treasuries (Proverbs 8:21) - treasure, storehouse, store, supplies of food & drink, magazine of weapons, treasure-house
Wow! That really gives us a good foundation of what is in store! Sometimes in life we go through comfortable stages... all is well, all is easy. No ruffling of feathers. Each day, fairly a walk through the park. Still things we may be believing for, but for all intensive purposes, we are relaxed and not really in the battle... not really in a fight.

I have heard the statement before, "If a winner gets pushed in a corner, they will come out fighting." As I was reading this morning, that was a statement that kept coming to mind. A winner doesn't stay down, they come out fighting! Each time the winner gets up, the courage of the opponent is weakened. "He keeps getting back up! Why doesn't he just stay down?!" But as that winner keeps getting back up, the enemy realizes that his tactics are not working. His punches are not holding, they aren't strong enough. He's not fast enough, or he just isn't powerful enough. The winner keeps getting back up! Praise the Lord! Is anyone else out there with me a WINNER??!?!?! It's like I can see hands raised from winners all over who are reading this! A winner gets back up! A winner keeps getting back up! Another verse in Proverbs talks about, I may fall 7 times, but will rise again! As believers, since we have the Holy Spirit on the INSIDE of us, we can't help but be a winner! Even when we are tired, even when we feel knocked down or defeated, the Holy Spirit already knows the end of the story, HE IS the Greater One on the inside of us! He has created ALL THINGS, and knows that WE HAVE VICTORY! In our flesh, when we feel weak, that Inner Voice RISES UP, "YOU ARE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! GET UP!" GET UP! GET UP! And we drag ourselves back to our feet and get up yet again, yet another time! 

Proverbs 8:17 is one way that we come out fighting! When things look tough, we dig in, we fight, we go deeper! Verse 17 says, I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me. When our strength is weak, when our flesh is tired, when we don't have the answers and what we SEE with our natural eye does not look good we DIG INTO THE WORD! We DILIGENTLY seek the ONE with ALL the answers! We do what a FIGHTER would do, we do what may be UNCOMFORTABLE! That may mean, waking up EARLY to fight! Waking up EARLY to prepare! Waking up EARLY to SEEK out the answers! Rising up EARLY to press in! Our diligence in our FIGHT is the PREREQUISITE of our Victory! 

Check this out! It says, when we DO that very thing, SEEK our Father early & diligently, WE WILL FIND HIM! WE WILL! And as we continue to read in Proverbs, it goes on to say those things He will bring with Him. RICHES. HONOR. ENDURING WEALTH. DIGNITY. REPUTATION. ABUNDANCE. WE WILL BE SATISFIED. 


Take what is yours, VICTORY!
Malachi 3:10-12 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.11And I will rebuke the devourer [insects and plagues] for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts. 12And all nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

#164 - Wisdom: A Different Perspective

Buenos dias! :) I hear the birds chirping and love it! My next chore?? To wash down the screened in porch so I can return to my Quiet Time oasis and enjoy the beautiful morning sounds of the outdoors! In the meantime, the pollen filled porch will sit with an empty table... just waiting for me. :) I'm coming! I'm coming soon porch!
Proverbs 7:4 - Say to skillful and godly Wisdom, You are my sister, and regard understanding or insight as your intimate friend--
Honestly... I have never thought of Wisdom as "my sister", nor understanding as my "intimate friend." But... when you really begin to boil things down, even the idea of it makes it seem very "light-hearted" and "fun!" I grew up with two sisters.... so I can relate but even if it were a guy reading this verse... it is very applicable to them too. I have a brother as well. When I think of my brother talking to me, I would anticipate he talks to me differently than he would a guy friend. He has the ability to be open, transparent, and know that whatever he says I'm going to listen with an open ear. To talk to someone as a sister, to me brings with it the idea that you are able to go to that person, talk, not be worried or concerned about what they think because regardless of your words or feelings, at the end of the day, they are going to still love you.

A sister. I think of how different my sisters are, and how different of a relationship we have, and even growing up how different it always was. But both, equally as valuable in different ways. The one, we could go out for a run, bend over, let our arms hang and just act goofy! Sometimes just to pass time, we would just act like complete dorks! We'd laugh, have fun and the time would pass, the run would soon be over. We would sit out at the gazebo by my parents pool reading our Bibles, digging in, allowing the Word to change us. One moment we could be laughing, the next moment serious.

So here... even Wisdom could be like that to me?
Wisdom, you are my funny sister. The one I can laugh with and be silly with. Wisdom, you are my serious sister, someone I can search out the Word with, someone I can dig into the Word...someone who I can change with. 
My other sister? We were both cheerleaders. We had a different kind of relationship, closer in age... but we could just lay up and talk through the night. During those times, I wasn't walking with the Lord... so who knows what we talked about... but the door was always open. We could just hang out, do nothing or do something. The intimacy of our friendship was great and still is. Someone who will support, love and encourage. We spent many weekends skiing together, being "cool", finding the hot guys on the slopes. Memories! So.... a friend... someone that I can have fun with!

So Wisdom you also could be to me:
Wisdom, you are an ear to listen. You are also someone I can have fun with. I can enjoy life with. Wisdom you are an intimate ear, you love me for who I am, you accept me where I am. You are always there for me. 
I think of "intimate friends" as it talks about in the latter part of Proverbs 7:4. Regarding understanding and insight as an intimate friend. Do you have that ONE friend, or that ONE person.... they seem like they could be a sister because you are so in tune with each other. It's like you are just kindred friends! You were meant to be together, you were meant to be friends. THAT FRIEND, that is how we are suppose to treat understanding and insight. Seeking it out, pouring into each other. Allowing insight and understanding to pour into you, your Spirit, like you would your best friend.

The Key? The key is TIME. Wisdom, like a sister, is ALWAYS there for us. READY for us to "pick up the phone", "grab coffee with".... Wisdom is READY to stay up late with us and reveal answers to our questions. Understanding & insight, like an intimate friend, they are equally ready.... to look us directly in our eyes and really listen to what we are saying. And WE need to also, be ready to be quiet and LISTEN to our intimate friend. There is no shortness of REVELATIONS. The only shortness is our ability to TAKE THE TIME to receive them. Revelations are in abundance.... WISDOM, INSIGHT & UNDERSTANDING are waiting to reveal these secrets to us.

Take the time today.... maybe it's just to sit in a chair, just you. Quiet. Lean back, and just say, "Wisdom, I call you my sister. Let's talk! I'll even just listen and let you talk! What do you think??"

It puts a different perspective on entering into a time to seek out Wisdom when you know you can go into it as you would with a sister. You can seek understanding going into it like you would an intimate friend. It makes it not awkward, not weird, no pressure, no uneasiness. You wouldn't be nervous having coffee with your sister or friend, Wisdom, the Holy Spirit is the same. You can enter into that time and realize your best friend is always right there with you, waiting.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

#163 - For Such a Time as This

Good morning! Get ready for this. The Word for today is for MANY people. MANY. I'm excited to allow the Holy Spirit to really show out and open eyes through what He has shared with me this morning, and what He is about to reveal to you. It is amazing! Buckle up! Strap on the boot straps & get ready! This is a Word from the Lord!
Proverbs 6:6-8 - Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise! Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, Provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.
Esther 2:2b, 12, 13 - Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king. 2Now when the turn of each maiden came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after the regulations for the women had been carried out for twelve months--since this was the regular period for their beauty treatments, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with sweet spices and perfumes and the things for the purifying of the women-- 13Then in this way the maiden came to the king: whatever she desired was given her to take with her from the harem into the king's palace. 
Matthew 25:2-4 - 2Five of them were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, and prudent). 3For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them; 4But the wise took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps. 
Wow! This is good. I was sitting here listening to the Holy Spirit as I journaled some of my thoughts.... and this was one of his opening lines to me: "Amy - just relax your brain. You seem so uptight this morning." Do you ever wake up like that? Even though you may be in quietness and peace, nothing in your brain feels or seems like that. Your brain is going a million miles a minute thinking of a million thoughts, concerns, situations, etc, etc. It's like... how could you have so much going on in your brain so early in the morning. You just woke up! So, I listed out all the things that I had in my brain that was causing a bit of question or even potential stress. The Holy Spirit reminded me that I needed to RE-CAST those cares on Him. I was allowing the baggage of my load to weigh me down, which in turn was hindering my ability to Care Less and be Care Free!

OK... all that was bonus. Let's roll into the Word. Above you read about 3 different accounts. The first one, in Proverbs talks about how the ant is prepared. The ant prepares during harvest and when winter comes is ready. Proverbs tells us to learn from the ant. Let's skip down to the Matthew scripture. Here's an account of the story of the 10 virgins. If you remember, they were waiting for the bridegroom to return so they could enter into the party. 5 of the virgins came prepared with extra oil, not knowing how long into the night they would be waiting, and not wanting to run out of oil. The other 5 came unprepared, and later ran out of oil. When the bridegroom returned they were not there because they had to go get more oil... they missed the opportunity to enter into the party. They were left behind closed doors in the dark. A real picture of heaven & being prepared for the return of Jesus. He is coming back, the question is, will WE be ready?

Esther... the key thing here that I wanted to point out is this... virgins were going before the King so that he could decide who would be the NEW QUEEN to replace Queen Vashti. The King was going to choose. A NEW QUEEN! Someone! A young woman from among the people. It reminds me kind of of the Cinderella movie with Drew Barrymore.... where the women of the region are invited to go to an elaborate ball so that the Prince can choose a wife! Well... that in essence is similar to what's going on with Esther, EXCEPT before going before the King, the women go through a 12 MONTH PREPARATION period! They go through 12 MONTHS of beautification treatments! 12 MONTHS!

How does that affect me? What does that have to do with me? As I was sitting here listening... well, just feverishly writing what the Holy Spirit was telling me... He reminded me of these accounts. To sum it up, He basically said, HEY... even ESTHER had a time of preparation! Her season JUST for the beauty treatments was 12 months before she would go before the King. Her ASSIGNMENT was huge! We all know the "For Such a Time as This" statement. Queen Esther saved an ENTIRE NATION! She saved the Jewish people! BUT she had to go through a preparation period. 

Put your name in here: AMY (Tarra, Kim, Angie, Galen, Renee ___________________) will YOU be patient enough during this season, during this time for me to PREPARE YOU? Great things are on the horizon, but I need to prepare you! You don't have to be in a rush. My timing is perfect. Will you please just continue to let me? Before the fullness of manifestation... before your dreams truly ARE a reality, in the current quietness, will you allow me to get you FULLY grounded so you are FULLY prepared?! You will not lack any good thing! The day and the hour is not important right now, it will come. The important thing right now is that you focus on the time you are in and that is PREPARATION! Will YOU prepare and allow me to prepare you? Continue to draw near to me! This is part of the preparation! I will guide you in what to focus on, what to prepare. Your time is coming, the time that will be famous for you and you will recognize it as: For Such a Time as This! You will know you had been prepared for this moment and for this time. So.... please.... will you just be patient. Will you let me do My work in you? Your time is coming. 

Need I say more? My time, Your time is coming. Will we be faithful in the preparation? Will we be faithful so that at our VICTORY, at the FRUITION of the desires we've been waiting upon... we will be able to say, "I see it now... For Such a Time as This, I have been made ready. I'm so glad that I am prepared!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

#162 - Steer Clear!


GOOD MORNING! Man, what a blessing! Do you ever just reflect & think, "Wow! This is awesome!" "THIS" meaning, your life. That you are operating in your gift, you are following your calling, you are excited to be doing what you love, you are fulfilled. That is how I feel this morning! :)
So, yesterday, I picked up my book again. The draft of "Fairytales Do Come True" is completed. I got the "go-ahead" yesterday to dive back in and begin the editing process. The book is right over 74,000 words, I read & edited the first 5 chapters yesterday. Wow! It's so fun! If I could ask you to pray about a few things for me... that would be awesome!

  1. I'm thanking God for the Provision & Favor to go to a Conference in July. It's called SheSpeaks, put on by The cool thing about this conference is that it will allow me the opportunity to meet with Christian publishers, bring my book, as well as some of the top Blog posts. It will be a big opportunity for me! If you want to check out the conference details... check out the website... I will be taking the Writers Track (there is also a Speakers Track & Leadership Track). Here's info about what to expect. My goal is to apply before April 15th. 
  2. Please pray for me as I am in the editing process of my book. Some key areas of prayer... since it is my testimony, I have changed some names in the book of people who may not want their names shared. Please pray that God gives me wisdom about how to go about it. A few of the main characters played a major hindrance in my life. So what if they ever read this book? I've changed their names... but the role they played, is still the role they played. Please just pray that I would have Wisdom. 
Thank you! :) If you want to read a quick "snap-shot" on the book, I did write a devotion on it: Fairytales Do Come True

OK, lets get going! 
Proverbs 5:4 - But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged and devouring sword.
Hebrews 4:12 - For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Proverbs 5 is our classic... it talks about the "loose woman." How God amazes me even this morning, that He can continue to bring NEW things out of His Word! Praise the Lord! Proverbs 5:4 is describing a bit of who the "Loose Woman" is... her characteristics and the deadly role she can play in ones life, IF one lets her! As we skip on to Hebrews 4:12... we also see something else that is described as a TWO-EDGED SWORD! Here we have 2 very opposite examples, ONE bringing DEATH, the other with the ability to bring LIFE! Hebrews 4:12 is talking about how God's WORD is SHARPER than ANY two-edged sword. ANY! Including the loose woman. How the WORD OF GOD has more power than the SHARPEST two-edged sword, that the WORD OF GOD has the power to penetrate. The Word has power to expose us, reveal us, show our hearts and our true deep desires. I believe that EVERY Christian has a deep desire to please God. That deep down, no matter what you're doing in life, whether you are living a life with reckless abandon to loving and serving your King, or whether you are living a life cussing, drinking, or running from God. I believe that IF a person has made a decision to accept Jesus as their Savior, deep down they have this INNATE desire to serve Him, to please Him, to make Him proud. Even amongst the yelling, the arguing, the countless beers, the revealing clothes, the wrong association, that DEEP down even this person has a DESIRE to please our Father! It's there, deep in their heart, a longing, a passion, a drawing to - like a magnet - the King of Kings. Christians have a desire, a longing to be close to the Father!

Something extremely cool about that.... is SURE... here in Proverbs 5:4, the loose woman is luring people in and she is like a two-edged sword. She = "sin", "the World", "bad association", "Wrong motives".... you may not be drawn into what the "outset" of Proverbs 5 looks like... when we just read the words for what they say, many of us think, "This doesn't apply to me, this is talking about a prostitute on the streets trying to lure men in to have sex." But, if you REALLY look a little deeper, SHE is any area that is trying to draw us away.

An awesome thing? Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the WORD is SHARPER than ANY two-edged sword! Including the loose woman! Including sin, temptation, sluggishness, lack of desire, procrastination, lack of motivation.... the WORD is MORE powerful than ANY of that! The WORD has the POWER to PENETRATE! It has the power to get you right in the heart and CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!! When we read further down in Hebrews, the last verse in chapter 4, tells us additional good news.... let's check it out....
Hebrews 4:16 - Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
HALLELUYAH! That is good news! Even if you have messed up, fallen short, run from God, avoided Him... that it says EVEN YOU can come CONFIDENTLY and BOLDLY to His throne! That even YOU will receive mercy for your failures, your mess-ups, where you've fallen short. And PRAISE THE LORD, that HIS help will be well-timed, coming just when we need it!

UNMERITED FAVOR is favor that is undeserved! You did not earn it. You just receive it. Because Jesus went to the cross for you, died for YOUR sins, and here you have it... YOU are receiving UNMERITED, UNEXPLAINABLE, UNDESERVED FAVOR! A promotion why? Because of favor! Increase why? Because of favor! A compliment from someone un-expecting why? Because of favor! Forgiveness for screwing something up why? Because of favor!

Just a reminder... STEER clear of the loose woman... and ALL she represents. Bad association. Are there certain people that pull you down, draw you away from a relationship with Jesus? THEY are the "loose woman" in your life. STEER CLEAR of them! It may just be for a season.... but the loose woman is the enemy to us drawing near in a relationship with Jesus. 1 Peter 5:8... be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[a]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 

Steer clear and CONFIDENTLY press in to the THRONE OF GRACE! Everything you desire is at that throne! Your dreams, they are there. Your desires, they are there. Your answers, they are there!

Monday, April 4, 2011

#161 - Guest Post: Clarity of Purpose

Good morning! It has been a great morning so far and I anticipate the whole day will just continue to be awesome! It is my Day of Rest (DOR)! :) :) :) OK... I know some people (MOM!) may be thinking, "You have lots of Days of Rest Amy!" Well... let me explain! Yes... I have a DOR every week! A Sabbath, a Day of Rest. AND... since I'm a MOM, it is usually nice to rest without Tyler Junior... without having the "mom/wife/cook/cleaner" hat on! Do I hear an AMEN from anyone out there? I am blessed to have a husband that has a somewhat flexible job and does have some office days. It doesn't happen all the time, but it allows mom to sometimes get to slip out and enjoy some "alone time" without Junior! Often a very needed break! SOOOO... even though I just had a DOR on Friday... today was the most convenient day for Tyler for me to have my DOR.... so.... I'm starting the week of RESTING! YIPPEE! I'm so blessed to have such a great husband! A major SHOUT OUT to TYLER MCCART! I love you and appreciate you! Thank you for valuing my "rest time" too! 

Check out his post from this morning! It's not every day that he posts... but this one is short, sweet & impactful! 

Clarity of Purpose (check out Tyler's blog!)
Ok. This will be quick blog again, but I just wanted to share something that IMPACTED my life, yesterday.

I was at church and Pastor Donna was ministering and she was talking about making a quality decision about being SOLD OUT to the 
plan of God for your life. The last verse that she shared was this:

Proverbs 19:21 (Amp) 
"Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand."

She said,
 "What are the reoccurring thoughts and desires that have been coming up inside of yourself for your entire life? Well, think about these things because it will bring clarity to you about the plan and purpose of God for your life."

Chew on this!! Take some time and ponder this.

Is your "Life" in line with those thoughts or at least are you taking those small steps toward that plan??

Impacting your world!!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Hello! How are ya'll doing? I'm going to enjoy my Day of Rest today! It's been a pretty long week, so I'm excited about enjoying a day of chillin! :) 

Have an awesome day! :)

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