Author Archives: Amy Lynne

THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

Forgive Each Other

Compassion flooded my heart as I walked into the room where my step-mother, Debbie, was resting while she battled the effects of stage-four cancer. With a frightened look in her eyes, she burst into a cry when she looked at me standing in the doorway. Debbie normally wasn’t emotional, but the sympathy in my eyes must have touched a deep place in her spirit.

With a smile, I walked toward Debbie, and her tears subsided as I embraced her. Serenity filled the room while we sat there together enjoying a conversation.

As love flowed from my heart, I asked Debbie if she would like me to say a prayer. Enthusiastically, she said, “Yes!” I held tightly onto her hands and began praying softly over her. The fear I had seen in her eyes began to fade away and a fresh glow illuminated her face.

After a sweet time together, I hugged her firmly and said, “Goodbye.” As the door shut behind me, a flood of emotion washed over me and I began sobbing.

The tears were a bittersweet mixture of the sorrow I felt for Debbie’s battle with cancer and a celebration of the powerful love I had shared with her in the midst of her pain.

I realized during those precious moments spent with my step-mother that I was reaping the fruit of my choice to forgive her many years before. Decades earlier when I was a thirteen-year-old girl, I met Debbie after my dad moved out of our home. He divorced my mother and married Debbie soon afterward.

The life I had known in my childhood was shattered and I felt the deepest pain I’ve ever experienced. Bitterness invaded my heart as I blamed Debbie for the break up of my family. In my brokenness, I struggled to open my heart to Debbie until after I matured and realized the burden of carrying the pain was too heavy.

While I watched the example of my mother’s forgiveness in the midst of the unwanted divorce, I resisted the urge to stay bitter. Miraculously, through the resurrection power of Christ, I was able to totally forgive Debbie, and the wound in my heart healed.

Forgiveness has the power to make something beautiful out of something terribly painful.

Amy and Debbie

On my wedding day, the photographer got a candid photo with my step-mom joyfully gazing at me. Only Christ could enable such beauty to emerge out of the brokenness from the past.

Years later, as I sat with my step-mom while she faced death, it was evident to me that the choice of forgiveness had truly transformed my soul. The hurting, young teen I once was, could not have fathomed I was capable of loving my step-mother with a love so pure.

While hoping and praying for Debbie’s healing, I received a phone call from my father. His voice was solemn as he said, “The doctors are saying it will be just a few hours before Debbie passes away.”

I said, “I’m so sorry, Daddy.” I was crying as I tried to comfort my father.

Peace encompassed my sad heart as I walked into the critical care unit. It was surreal to see Debbie hooked up to machines and nearly lifeless.

A kind nurse assured me that Debbie was listening even though she was powerless to speak. In those surreal moments, I embraced the sacredness of Debbie’s soul preparing to pass from this life into eternity.

As a heavenly aura filled the room, I walked closer to her bedside and with words mixed with tears, I passionately said, “I love you, Debbie; thank you for being a loving step-mother to me.”

If it’s possible to touch Heaven tangibly while still on the earth, I certainly touched it that day.

I am certain that forgiveness is the birthing place for the most beautiful kind of love. Evidence of the love that grew in my relationship with my step-mother is in a card she gave me a few months before her death.

Debbie’s written words will forever be inscribed on my heart. She wrote, “Amy, I have grown to love you like my very own daughter.”

After nearly nine years since Debbie’s death, she is treasured and the power of forgiveness remains the greatest miracle of my life.

A life without forgiveness is a burdensome existence—it’s like dragging a large weighted ball. Without forgiveness, the pain adheres itself to the soul and dampens everything we experience with a thick darkness. When we don’t forgive we are only hurting ourselves.

Forgiveness is one of the greatest keys to living an abundant life. The one who walks in love and forgiveness experiences an abundance of spiritual blessings. 

Are you carrying unnecessary weight in your heart? There’s no better time than now to choose forgiveness.  Christ died on the cross and rose again so that we can forgive and be free from the pain that weighs us down. Choosing the path of forgiveness leads us to eternal joy, perfect peace, and unleashes the most magnificent, unimaginable love.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for being the greatest example of love and forgiveness. We surrender to You and repent for the times we have had an unforgiving heart. Please show us the offenses we are holding in our hearts and let us totally forgive every offense that has come against us. Let us live a lifestyle of forgiveness daily and let us have a grace-filled heart that’s incapable of being offended. Let us be vessels of Your awesome love and let us be defined by Your powerful gospel of grace. Please use each one of us to make a difference in the world by spreading Christ’s love everywhere we go. We pray in the mighty name of Christ. Amen.

Dr. Bruce Hebel teaches a powerful message on forgiveness. If you’re struggling to forgive, I highly recommend that you watch the video below and check out the ministry’s website to learn practical steps for walking in forgiveness:  ForgivingForward.com.

I’d be so honored if you would subscribe to receive my posts electronically by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right sidebar. Thanks so much to those who have already subscribed.

 

 

 

A SUNDAY PRAYER

LOOK AT GOD'S WONDERS

On this glorious Sunday, God’s wonders are all around us. Christ is awakening the dead places inside us. He is breathing life into our souls. He is working behind the scenes to bring our dreams into fruition. There is no limit to what He will do in each of our lives as we keep our eyes focused on Him. May we take time to look at the wonder of the life Christ has given us and live abundantly in His grace.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We are in awe of You and we thank You for creating the beautiful earth for us to enjoy. Please help us revel in all the wonders of the world. Fill our hearts with abundant peace and never-ending joy. Let us never look back at the disappointments of the past and choose to look toward the heavenly blessings You have in store for our lives. Let us live as little children with simple faith and trust in You. Let us live in Your light and live with a sense of wonder every moment of every day. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

Happy Sunday!

XOXO,

Amy

CHOOSING FAITH OVER FEAR

DO NOT FEAR, FOR I AM WITH YOU

Fear is one of the most paralyzing obstacles we deal with in life. If we’re being completely honest with each other, we all battle with fearful thoughts at times.

Fear can taunt us, but it cannot have any power over us when we are grounded in Christ. I was greatly encouraged in my quest to conquer fear after I had a powerful dream in my sleep last year.

In my dream, I was alone and trying to find my way home late at night after leaving an event. Unintentionally, I took a road that led to the top of a really high mountain. In the midst of the darkness, I could barely see my surroundings, but I kept on driving anyway. Suddenly, I began to get fearful as I realized I had taken the wrong road and I was on the side of a mountain. As I was turning the vehicle around, I could see I had reached the top without even being aware of it. With amazement, I thanked God for helping me make it safely to the top of a huge mountain in the dark. Then I was awakened from my sleep.

In the moments shortly after my dream, I sensed there was a message Christ wanted me to receive. It was as though He was saying: You have no reason to fear the darkness. I am with you. I will help you.

Fear has taunted me at times throughout my life and it has attempted to get me off course, but thankfully it has not succeeded in stopping me from living courageously.

I am determined not to let fear stop me from going after my callings. When I stand face to face with Christ, I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I don’t want Him to wonder why I let fear stop me from doing His will for my life.

Are you battling fears or feeling anxious about the future? Do you have moments when fear paralyzes you or prevents you from doing what you are called to do?

If we continually look to Christ and choose faith over fear, we will be totally free from fear’s grip.

As long as we’re on this earth, we’ll be tempted by fear, but it does not have to control our lives. There are a few strategies that help me overcome fear when it tempts me to give into it.

Praying passionately stops fear dead in its tracks. When I am tempted to give into fearful thoughts, I drop to my knees and pray wholeheartedly until Christ floods my soul with peace.

Meditating on Scripture is a powerful way to conquer anxious thoughts. The Scriptures, especially the Psalms, have helped me mightily through the years. Meditating on the Psalms melts away anxiety and fear. If we are keeping our hearts fixed upon Christ and His Word, fearful thoughts cannot penetrate our minds.

Living a life of repentance breaks the chains of anxiety in our lives. Whenever I am feeling fearful, I ask Jesus if there is something in my life that is allowing unrest in my soul. Christ is always faithful to show me an unrealized sin that needs to be stripped out of my heart. Letting Christ sanctify us is a key factor in getting free from our fears. It’s amazing how peace floods into my soul instantaneously as I repent.

Worshiping in Spirit and in truth opens the door to peace. As we remain in an attitude of worship throughout each day, Christ’s indescribable peace remains within us. Worshiping by singing and listening to anointed songs is a powerful way to conquer fear.

Christ is calling us to go deeper in our relationship with Him so that we can crush fear under our feet and never be affected by it again. The deeper we go with Christ, the more of His glory will be released in our lives. No dark force can stand up against the glory and power of Jesus Christ. With Christ guiding and strengthening us, we have nothing to fear.

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10

May you live fearlessly and step boldly into the destiny Christ has for your life.

As a side note, please forgive me for neglecting to write for my blog lately. Recently, I have been working hard on another writing project. I am pressing forward in my callings and helping build Christ’s kingdom on the earth. I would be so honored if you would subscribe to receive my posts electronically by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right sidebar. Thanks so much to those who have already subscribed.

XOXO,

Amy

THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL

Because He Lives!!

Heaven touches us and stays in our hearts the moment we truly realize what Christ has done for us on the cross. We do not have to wait until after we leave our earthly bodies to begin experiencing Christ’s eternal gifts. Eternity begins when we surrender to Christ and allow Him to turn the hard things of life into something amazingly beautiful.

Yesterday, as I was strolling through Gibbs Gardens with my friend who recently lost her beloved mom, I thought of the anchor we have in Christ. The stunning beauty in the gardens reminded me of Christ and His redemptive love. There was an overwhelming sense of Christ’s resurrection power as I gazed at the splendor of the Japanese maple trees.

Japanese Garden at Gibbs Gardens

Christ died an agonizing death so that we can live abundantly, free of condemnation and guilt. He died so that we can live in a heavenly state of mind with eternal peace through every trial and loss. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.”

Christ’s love is all we need to make it through this life victoriously.

Christ’s gift of love restores us and heals us. His love is the balm to the oozing wounds in our souls after a loved one passes on. His love restores hurting relationships and rebuilds broken lives. Christ makes even the hardest days remarkable, simply because He is with us.

Whatever you are going through at this moment, be encouraged and know that it is not too big for Christ. The same power that raised Jesus back to life will resurrect you and your situation as you turn to Him and have faith.

Our constant pursuit of Christ and our surrendered prayers move the Lord’s heart to work powerfully on our behalf. Our relinquished lives open the door to God’s glory and the heavenly realm overcomes the darkness around us.

Once we have tasted of Christ’s glory, there is no dark force that can defeat us or bring us down. He is life. He is everything. His love is the greatest gift of all.

Beloved Jesus,

We adore You and we are in awe of the sacrifice You made for us. Thank You for paying the penalty for all of our sins. Thank You for giving Your life so that we can live freely and eternally. Help us to receive all the gifts You have for our lives and help us to live as recipients of Your amazing grace every day. Help us to share Your love with those around us and invite others into a life-giving relationship with You. We love You with all our hearts and we pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

Grace and peace to you,

Amy

A SIDE NOTE – I would be so blessed and honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts electronically by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right sidebar.

I hope you enjoy this powerful song by Elevation Worship. Shout out to our King!

 

RESTING IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST

LORD, LET US DRAW NEAR TO YOU

The sunbeams were softly touching my face while I was sitting outside early in the morning. The birds were serenading me with beautiful songs as I was slowly and intentionally breathing in the cool air. There were drops of dew on the flowers and plants reminding me of the refreshment that comes in communing with Christ. His love enveloped my soul and the presence of the Lord beckoned me to draw close to Him.

In my heart, it was as though Christ was speaking these words, “Arise, My love and come into My arms. You have stolen My heart, My bride. Let My love wash over you and let Me be the only desire of your soul. Let Me sweep you away into My embrace and carry you into heavenly places.”

After a morning of stillness, I was refreshed once again by the love of Christ and ready for a new day of living in Him.

There is no other love as perfect as the love of Christ. Though we may seek to find pleasure and rejuvenation in other places, only Christ’s love can satisfy us and refresh us. Jesus promises us if we come to Him when we are weary, we will find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30).

May we seek to draw closer to Christ’s heart and let His love renew our spirits every day.

 Beloved Jesus,

Thank You for refreshing our souls with Your love. Thank You for the beauty You have given us through song birds that sing and flowers that bloom. Help us to draw near to You every day. Let us carry this message of Your beautiful love to a broken world that so desperately needs You. We love You and are waiting for Your return. We pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.”

Song of Solomon 4:9

Grace and peace to you,

Amy

This devotion is a piece I wrote in 2012.

LIVING WITH A SURRENDERED HEART

LORD, WE SURRENDER ALL YO YOU

As I laid my head on my pillow one summer night years ago, my mind was clouded with worried thoughts. It was the only time in my life I ever felt anger toward God. Jesus, I’m mad at You.  Jesus patiently listened as I poured my heart out to Him.

I was questioning the Lord while my husband was facing another season of unemployment. Why are You allowing this to happen again, Lord? After several minutes of wallowing in my pity party, I fell asleep.

I woke up eight hours later with a new attitude. How ridiculous for me to be mad at Jesus. He’s the only one who can truly rescue us from the difficult challenges. Being mad at God will only make things worse.

After realizing how silly I was for being mad at Jesus, I prayed, “Lord, forgive me for my silliness. Please forgive me for being mad at You.”

It was in that precise moment that I arrived at the end of myself. I prayed, “Lord, I surrender everything to You. I will do anything You want for me to do or go anywhere You want for me to go.”

Prior to that moment, my fear of losing my home was holding me back from surrendering all to Christ. In the previous decades, I had surrendered parts of my life to Christ, but this was total surrender. It was the last time I ever tried to do things my way, without Christ’s help and guidance.

With a serious heart and a little bit of humor I told Christ, “You can have my house, all my material possessions, even my closet full of clothes, but will You please leave me one outfit?”

Obviously, I knew that Christ was not going to leave me destitute with nothing to wear, but I wanted to lay everything down. I was more serious than ever about following Christ’s will and no longer living controlled by my own will.

Christ rewarded my seriousness in the form of a great miracle. Amazingly, about two weeks later, my husband was offered a job that ultimately led him to his dream job and far exceeded any of our expectations. Miraculously, my fear of losing our home subsided and we are still living in our house after thirty years. Keeping the house was no longer more important than following Christ, so He helped me keep it.

There is something mysterious about totally surrendering to Christ. It’s as though our submission to His will opens the door to the supernatural realm.

When we place Christ as the highest priority in our lives, then miracles begin unfolding left and right.

I’m a work in progress and I do not have this journey of following Christ figured out, but I can testify that total surrender is the key to the door that leads to abundance and never-ending joy. Disappointments have absolutely no power over us when we live with a surrendered heart moment by moment. When desiring nothing but Christ’s will, we see His glory in greater ways and we are free to live in His abundant peace eternally.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We come to You with gratitude and we thank You for Your never-ending grace, mercy, and love. We surrender every part of our hearts to You and ask You to guide us in everything we do. Let us pray without ceasing and let our relationship with You be the most important part of our lives. Help us to grow spiritually every day and let us look to You for every need. Let us make a difference in the world every single day and let us share Your love in countless ways to those who are hurting. Fill us with bold faith and let our prayers shake the heavens and bring down the dark forces that seek to devour us. Let us arise as powerful, mighty warriors and let Your glory and light shine brighter than ever in all of us so that multitudes of people will come into Your kingdom. We trust You to keep Your hand upon our families and our nation and we wait expectantly for You to reveal Your glory in greater ways in 2017. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

Luke 9:23

May you have a blessed year in 2017!

XOXO,

Amy

A THANKSGIVING PRAYER

in-everything-give-thanks

No matter what circumstances we are facing in our nation, we can breathe deeply and rest in knowing we have a good heavenly Father. His son, Jesus Christ, is the anchor that keeps us from sinking into the depths of darkness as we press into Him through prayer.

We have so many spiritual blessings to be thankful for. Let’s pray and thank our Father for His love and goodness.

Father,

Thank You for Your never-ending mercy and grace. As we join together with our families and friends this Thanksgiving, let us rejoice over the gift You have given us through Your son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for all that He gives us and how He enables us to live with an abundance of hope, joy, peace, and love. Let our gratitude flow from our hearts every day and let us always remember that You blessed us to be a blessing to others. Help us share Your love every day and always do good to each other. Let us never stop praying and be thankful in all circumstances.  We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

May you all have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving celebration with your families and friends.

XOXO,

Amy

KEEPING FOCUSED ON THE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST

jesus-we-look-to-you

After spending too much time reading articles about do-it-yourself projects, a thought came bursting into my head: “I’m done! I’m done with wasting time on trivial things.” A zealous determination rose up in my spirit like I’ve never had before.

In the previous months, I had spent so much of my time on repainting walls and restoring furniture instead of working on the things I knew God desired for me to do.

Creating beauty in my home and inviting people over for meals are two of my greatest passions. Creating a pretty home is not a bad thing, but it can be a burdensome thing if it begins stealing my focus away from eternal things.

Over and over again, the Lord has reminded me of the words in James 4:14: “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

In the blink of an eye, our time of passing through this earth is over. Do I really want to be known for being the “Home Project Expert” when I’m gone? No. I want to be remembered mainly for the love and encouragement I’ve sewn into lives.

How do we stay focused on eternal things when there are so many mundane things tugging at our minds? I think we sometimes need to reassess our priorities. That’s what I had to do. I had to stop reading decorating blogs and stop watching decorating shows. Those things were just feeding my desire to do more projects.

To be completely clear, I’m not saying I will never do another project around my house. I’m sure I will tackle a home project again in the future, but I’ve chosen not to make it a high priority.

After resetting my priorities, I don’t feel the pressure to rip down the bathroom wallpaper that’s nearly two decades old. One hundred years from now, whether or not I updated my bathroom will not matter.

Our relationships with people and with Christ will matter eternally. The time we spend seeking to find God’s assignments for each of our lives and the time spent helping others will be what lasts forever.

What new thing is Christ calling you to do that will have an eternal impact? Are you called to work with elderly people, start a ministry for foster children, or use your gift of music to uplift people?

Will you join me in seeking wholeheartedly to know Christ’s heart better and go passionately after the things that will have an eternal impact? Whatever it is any of us are called to do, Christ will give us faith and help us to stay focused on what matters most as we keep our eyes focused fully upon Him.

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.” Hebrews 12:2

PRAYING FOR AMERICA AND THE ELECTION

lord-please-keep-your-hand-upon-us

We’re living in really dark times; however, the darkness will not overtake us if we stay surrendered to the will of God for our lives. It’s a time for excitement as the day draws nearer for Christ’s second coming. Even though no one knows the day or hour, we can see the signs all around us that we’ve entered the season of preparing for the Lord’s return.

I’m very excited about the years ahead and I truly believe God is going to turn this nation around in due time. For the past six years, I have strongly sensed in my spirit that the U.S. is called to be the light of the world. It’s time for the Church of America to arise in the darkness and pray fervently for change in our country.

Our prayers are more important for America’s future than any of us can imagine. Will you please join me in praying for God’s perfect will to come forth in America?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the vision You have for the United States. Please keep Your hand firmly placed upon our country and heal our land. Let America be a holy nation, a group of people who will proclaim the praises of Your goodness. Revive the Church of America and make us light-bearers. Please turn things around in our cities and let Your chosen one be elected as our president. It is our desire to have a leader who will support Israel and will support our values. We are grateful our nation was founded upon Your truth, and we ask You to appoint the leader who will help to reinstate the foundation of our biblical principles. We know that it is You alone who can bring change and we trust You to carry our nation out of the darkness and into Your marvelous light. We pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Have a blessed Sunday!

Amy

PSALM 91 PRAYER

lordkeepmy

I wrote this prayer on October 31, 2013 and it has remained the most visited post on my website ever since then. It’s encouraging to know that there are so many mothers in the world searching for prayers for their children on the Internet.

I’ve updated the Psalm 91 prayer and I’m sharing it again to encourage you to pray passionately for your children today and every day.

LORD,

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

Let my child 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 enemy’s snare and the deadly pestilence. Please cover him with Your feathers and keep him under Your wings where he will find refuge. 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 walks 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 (child’s name) because You are with him.

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

Please command Your angels to guard my beloved child in all his ways.  Let Your angels lift (child’s name) up in their hands so that he will not strike his foot against a stone or be harmed in any way.

Let my child love You with his whole heart and trust You fully. Please rescue and protect him as he acknowledges Your name. Help him to put on the armor of God and trample the dark forces of the evil one.

Let my child call upon Your name. I trust You to answer him and help him in times of trouble. I trust You to deliver him and honor him always. I ask You to bless my child with long life, satisfy him, and show him Your salvation. I pray in Your name, Christ. Amen. 

I wrote this prayer using the King James Version and New International Version of the Bible.

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

XOXO,

Amy