Monthly Archives: November 2013

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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May your holidays be filled with joy and the knowledge of how deeply you are loved by Christ.

Happy Thanksgiving!

IN CHRIST, WE CAN FLY

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I threw my hands up in the air and proclaimed, “I’m free!” I was talking to an acquaintance from church, a woman I didn’t know very well. She looked at me strangely and I knew she had no idea what I was trying to communicate through my gesture. I shared a little about my painful past and how it had held me captive for way too long.

With excitement, I continued sharing my testimony of how Christ had taken my brokenness and transformed me. I used the metaphor of the butterfly to share what God had done in my heart and in my life.

After joyfully sharing about my new-found freedom that day, I left and pondered the words I had boldly shared. Even though the woman stared blankly and didn’t seem to get it at the time, I’ve often thought about her and hoped my testimony had planted a seed in her heart.

It’s been over a decade since that day when I proclaimed my freedom. The longer I walk with Christ the freer I become. I am no longer held captive by the thoughts of my past, by the concerns of the world, by the need to measure up to any person’s standard…on and on the list goes.

Jesus is the true Redeemer. He takes us and transforms us like the metamorphosis of a butterfly. As we leave our past hurts, our fears, our failures, our sin at His feet, He changes us and makes us new. In Him, our spirits are renewed and we soar.

Christ takes us in our caterpillar state and gives us wings so we can fly.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (New Living Translation)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Fly.” Today, I wrote for about ten extra minutes.

The photograph was taken at Anderson’s Sunflower Farm in Cumming, Georgia.

Five Minute Friday

SACRED MOMENTS SWINGING BY THE TREE

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As a young girl, I lived next door to my grandparents for several years. Every day, after school, I would spend my afternoons hanging out at their house. They lived on a beautiful piece of land in North Georgia surrounded by rolling cow pastures and mountains in the distance. The beauty at their house was magnified by the peace and serenity in the atmosphere.

As I grew older, I realized the peace at their home came from Christ and His presence. My grandfather, whom I called, “Poppy” was a praying man. He was left fatherless when his daddy died on his tenth birthday. Without an earthly father, he turned to his heavenly Father to fill the void in his life.

Poppy’s love for Christ influenced me.

Some of my greatest memories as a child are of the times I sat in a wooden swing that was positioned in front of a big old tree. I would sit for what seemed like hours with Poppy by my side, along with one of his cats nestled in between us. As the cat purred, and the old swing screeched in the wind, I could feel the Spirit of God and the peace that came from within Poppy’s soul.

I tasted the presence of God in those sacred moments swinging by the tree. My spirit was touched and a desire was born in my heart to seek after Christthe one and only way to find true peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Tree.” Today, it took me twenty extra minutes to write this piece. This post was written in loving memory of Alvin Harper (1916-2012).

The above photo of my grandfather’s swing was taken shortly after he passed away. I now have the swing at my house and will always be grateful for the legacy of prayer that Poppy left behind.

Five Minute Friday

PSALM 91 PRAYER

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I would be a nervous wreck if I didn’t know Christ is keeping my children safe in His protective care. I pray for the safety and protection of my children multiple times every day.

Communing with Christ gives me peace like nothing else.

I wrote a prayer for my children using the Scriptures in Psalm 91. I hope you will print this prayer and pray it over your children.

LORD,

I pray that (child’s name) will always dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

May he say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

I trust You, Christ, to save my child from the deadly pestilence. Please cover him with Your feathers, and keep him under Your wings where he will find refuge, and let Your faithfulness be his shield and rampart.

Help my child not to fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at his side, ten thousand at his right hand, but it will not come near him because You are with him.

Let (child’s name) make the Most High his dwelling. May You be his refuge. Let no harm befall him; let no disaster come near him or his home.

Christ, please command Your angels concerning my beloved child to guard him in all his ways.  Let Your angels lift him up in their hands, so that he will not strike his foot against a stone.

Let him love You with his whole heart and trust You fully. Lord, please rescue and protect him as he acknowledges Your name.

May (child’s name) call upon You, and may You answer him. I trust You to be with him in trouble. I trust You to deliver him and honor him. I ask You to bless him with long life and satisfy him and show him Your salvation. I pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.  (Written by Amy V., using the NIV Bible, October 31, 2013)

May Christ fill your heart with peace as you pray for your children.

PRAYERS OF A MOTHER’S HEART

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Learning to live a life of prayer has changed my life radically for the better. My life isn’t perfect, but I see Christ working daily in divine ways now that I make prayer my highest priority in life. To inspire others to find hope through prayer, I wrote, Prayers of a Mother’s Heart, a hope-filled prayer guide for mothers and grandmothers.  The book is available in the Kindle format and can be downloaded at Amazon.com.

Amazon offers an option to borrow the Kindle book for free or it can be purchased to keep for $2.99. For a sneak peak into the book, you can read part of the intro.                                  

Introduction

Prayer became as vital to me as breathing when I became the most desperate for Jesus. I realized my serious need for prayer when I was a thirty-one-year-old mother and was about to give birth to my second child. I had been so busy in the previous years that my daily prayer time had dwindled and my problems seemed to be taking over my life. I felt like I was in a deep pit that I couldn’t escape from. It was a time when fear consumed me and darkness was all around me.

 My twelve-year marriage was empty. My finances were a mess. My first-born child was suddenly so overcome with fear that she wouldn’t leave my side. Every evening I had to sleep on a pallet next to her, because she would awaken during the night screaming until she could touch me and know that I was right there with her. My home was filled with an overpowering sense of despair. Day after day, I woke up with a weight so heavy that I could barely get out of bed. But every day, I would get up and force myself to put one foot in front of the other and go through the motions of living.

 I had been a happy person for most of my life. I had always been able to see the best in every situation in the past. “Think positively; it could always be worse,” I would tell myself. But this time, my positive attitude tactics were not working. “Nothing could be worse than this,” I thought. There was nothing worse than the darkness I was experiencing in my soul. No matter how I tried to pull myself out of it, nothing worked. For the first time in my life, I felt hopeless—and helpless.

 All my life, I had been taught about Jesus. I had heard story after story about His redemptive love. But in my darkest hour, He seemed so far away from me. I wanted to die. My strongest prayer was that the second coming of Christ would be soon. I didn’t want to face another day, and I desperately wanted deliverance from the situation I was in.

 Just weeks before this darkness invaded my life, I seemed relatively fine. I was living life as a busy mom, driving my daughter Christa to school and to all of her activities, and keeping my house in good shape. I had recently thrown a big birthday bash for Christa’s seventh birthday. I had stayed up all hours of the night making homemade tiaras and princess wands. I had baked individual Cinderella cakes for each guest and designed a large Cinderella cake for the centerpiece of the table. It was all about creating the dream party for my daughter and looking like superwoman to all of our friends.

On the outside, things appeared great in my life. But on the inside, I was a terrified mom carrying the weight of many problems on my shoulders. I had somehow been able to hold myself together up until that point. Little did I know that it would only take one small thing to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

My self-sufficient strength caved in on a Wednesday night at the beginning of February 1997, less than eight weeks before the due date of my unborn baby. I had taken my daughter to an Awana Club meeting at church that evening, planning to drop her off like usual. But this particular night, things were different. Christa became consumed with fear and she cried and pleaded with me to take her home. After what seemed like ten minutes, the teacher lovingly convinced Christa to stay and enjoy her class. With reservations about leaving her there, I slipped away and went home for what I had hoped would be a short time of refreshment. But instead, I sat down at my dining room table and began to sob.  


…I hope you’ll read the rest of the story.

 

RESTING IN THE TRUTH

She wiped his feet with her hair by J M Hartley

Bowing down with my head on the floor is the place where I feel the cares of this life and the memories of hurtful words spoken by others melt away. As my tears fall onto the feet of Jesus, in His gentle way, He wipes my tears away and tells me the truth, “Amy, you are my beloved one; you are precious and beautiful to Me.”

In those times of solitude, I am filled up and ready to face another day because I know the truth of who I am. I know without a shadow of doubt that I belong to Christ and nothing else matters after realizing He is all I needthat He is my truth and my everything.

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Truth.”

I invite you to listen to this heavenly worship song by Kari Jobe.

Five Minute Friday

GOD’S AMAZING GRACE

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As my mom reached out and touched my step-mom’s shoulder, I saw a love I had never seen before. I remember the day like it was yesterday. We were at a family event after my dad had left our home to live with and marry another woman. It was a day when we were all together again after the divorce of my parents. It could have been disastrous and filled with tension and stress. But instead it was a day filled with grace.

The unconditional love of Christ was revealed through my mother’s actions as she showed true kindness and love to the woman who had lured my dad away from her. It was the grace that I saw coming from my mother’s heart that impacted me eternally. These memories are what beckon me daily to live as my mother lives, to live as a woman steeped in grace—loving freely all those who have hurt, used, or mistreated me.

True freedom comes from living in the grace that was given to all mankind when Christ paid the final penalty for every wrong thing we’ve ever done or will do in the future.

Oh, the beauty of God’s amazing grace makes my spirit soar and makes me want to frolic in a field of flowers.

“But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 (Good News Translation)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Grace.” Today’s post took me about ten extra minutes.

The photo of me was taken at the sunflower fields in Rutledge, Georgia.

Five Minute Friday