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March was Rough. Can Anyone Relate?

March was a rough month.

A million questions surged through my mind. Questions I dare not ask. I know better. Some questions have no answer. This I know.

To wrestle is natural. But– I want to live above the natural. Life is more than what we can see with our two eyes. Or touch with our hands. Or feel with our hearts. This, I also know.

Each moment holds a mystery yet to be revealed. Even if it one we don’t understand. I am not to wrestle. I am to rest. Isn’t rest a place that God, our Maker, our Father has called us to? Are not His children, called to walk by faith?

I don’t want to doubt. My heart longs to earnestly trust even with the secret things.

Deuteronomy 29:29, “The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them…”

There are simply some things I will never know. Secrets that are known only by God. It is what makes me human. And Him Lord. I must come to terms with this in my mind once and for all.

Yes. In this season, I need to trust.

Rather than ask the questions, I pour my heart out to the Lord. Tears wet my pillow. My heart aches. I can’t explain it. I can only tell you, that I feel it deep within my bones.

I cry myself to sleep.

My soul yearns to see His power. To pray for others and to get results. To listen and know it is His voice I am hearing. To take the next step, and to move in the direction of His will. To see His plans unfold in this life. On this earth.

I don’t want fame or riches. I couldn’t care less about recognition. What I need to know is that I am fulfilling His purpose with this one life. I need to see lives changed because of His love. I need to know that the power of His resurrection is at work today in this life. On this earth.

In this season, I will choose to trust.

To trust His plans… To trust His ways… To trust His timing…

To trust Him.

No-one said life would be easy. We all walk through difficult seasons. Silent seasons. Seasons in the wilderness. Uncertain seasons. Seasons we wish would move faster than they do.

Rather than wrestle with why. Or how. Or when. We need to rest; To embrace every season. Even the difficult ones.

Yes. Even the difficult ones.

If you are like me, and need help in this area today, pray this prayer with me:

“Lord, Help me to embrace every season of life. The ones that make no sense to me, and the ones that do. Help me today to find rest; To trust your plan for my life; To find the greater purpose in every one of life’s trials. Help me to trust You to a new degree; To walk through the difficult seasons with grace. Help me to trust your timing. Your ways. And Your plans. When I am tempted to doubt. Or question. Or worry. Lord, I pray that your sweet Spirit would remind me who is in control; that my times are in Your hands. Remind me, Lord, not to get stuck here. Remind me…. that seasons change. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

 

 

 

 

Building Healthy Relationships Podcast: Keys to Good Communication

 

Part 1 : Building Healthy Relationships: Keys to Good Communication

Part 2: Building Healthy Relationships: Keys to Good Communication

There are all kinds of people. Those who are great musicians. And those who can’t carry a tune; Those who understand quantum physics. And those who can’t even pronounce it. There are people who thrive on solving problems. And those who run from anything hard. Some people like to eat the same meal, at the same restaurant, every time. Others hate routine and can’t wait to treat themselves to something fresh.

Every one of the Lord’s children is unique. He has given each one of us areas of great strength. In the same vein, we were all born with areas of weaknesses. Believe it or not, it is those differences that keep our lives (and relationships) interesting.

No one would ever say they want their loved-ones to be a carbon copy of themselves. Yet, too often, that is what we unknowingly attempt to do. We spin our wheels trying to turn our loved ones into our twins. We pray that God will make them  view situations the way we  see them; that they  will seek the dreams we desire; and that He will move on their  heart to come into agreement with our plans.

God’s plan, however, is that we would celebrate our differences and learn to communicate in a way that brings honor to the other person in our relationships. His plan is not for us to have conflict free relationships. On the contrary, God’s plan is to teach us through our differences how to love (and look) like Christ no matter what those differences are.

Let’s be real. When two unique individuals come together, conflict will undoubtedly ensue. Every marriage has difficulties. Every relationship has conflict. In fact, there is no such thing as a disagreement-free relationship. It is not the lack of conflict that makes a relationship good. Rather, it is how well two people manage the conflict they face that determines the strength of that relationship.

Improperly managed conflict has the potential to turn two loving people into enemies in quite abruptly… Maybe you have experienced this before. Have you lost hope of the possibility of ever having the relationships you long for? I want you to know today: You can have the relationships that you desire. God wants to make that possible by being at the center of all your relationships. It is not a pipe-dream. Or a fairy tale. With a little knowledge and a lot of depending on Jesus, you can learn how to communicate in a way that leads to life.

By studying how to communicate, you can have the emotional connections you desire.

Proverbs 15:28, “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours fourth evil.”

Learning how to communicate your needs to your spouse, to your loved-ones and to your children, is critical in obtaining the healthy relationships you crave. I have said over and over again that relationships rise or fall based on how well two people communicate. I wholeheartedly believe this is true.

In this week’s Building Healthy Relationships Podcast: Keys to Good Communication, I discuss seven areas crucial for effective communication. I am confident you will be able to relate to the personal stories I share from my own life and marriage. And after tuning in, you will be better equipped to effectively manage the conflicts you face. I hope you will take some time to listen in. The answers you have been looking for are right within your reach. The next step is up to you.

Building Healthy Relationships Podcast: 6 Absolutes of Good Communication

Building Healthy Relationships: 6 Absolutes of Good Communication – Part 1

Building Healthy Relationships: 6 Absolutes of Good Communication – Part 2

One night as I was preparing for this “Building Healthy Relationship” series, my daughter, Aspen suggested that I should have a guest speaker share at the study. Curious, I asked her who she thought that  person ought to be. With her finger pointed toward herself, I wondered what she could possibly bring to the table in a discussion about building healthy relationships. So I asked her the question…

*****“What does a good relationship look like?”******

Her answer amazed me. So, as requested, here are 12 ingredients needed to have healthy relationships through the eyes of a ten year old- written word for word without any coaxing.

  1. You need to be able to say, “You’re right. I am wrong. I made a mistake.”
  2. You need to know that life isn’t always about you.
  3. You need to be able to keep your emotions in tact.
  4. You need to be selfless.
  5. When you aren’t agreeing on something, sometimes you need to let them have it their way and compromise.
  6. You should talk it out when you have a problem.
  7. You need to be nice and not focus on everything bad about them.
  8. You need to tell them good things about themselves.
  9. Whenever something is bothering the other person, you need to show them that you care by hugging them, kissing them and telling them good stuff about them.
  10. You need to go on dates and spend time together.
  11. You need to read the Bible and books about having good relationships.
  12. You need to say “thank you” when they do something for you.

Amazing how much we could benefit from putting these few bites of information into practice in our lives.

This week’s podcast focuses on the 6 Absolutes of Good Communication – six things we should never do/say if we want to have good relationships in our life. I hope you take a moment to listen in.

Please join us on Thursday mornings at 10am in the Avenue Worship Center of East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island, Florida for the continuation of the “Building Healthy Relationships” series.

Building Healthy Relationships Podcast: Building Godly Character

Building Healthy Relationships: Part 1- Being Servant-Hearted.

Building Healthy Relationships: Part 2- Be led by the Spirit, Not by your Emotions.

Building Healthy Relationships: Part 3- Be intentional

For You Tube Video Click Here

April 21, 2002. My hands were sweaty. My knees- weak. My stomach in knots from the butterflies that kept bumping into each other. I was twirling in circles on the inside. My heart was reeling with a flood of emotion. My mind spinning on a merry-go-round.

Could this man be the one I have been praying all my life for?

As I sat across the table from him at Outback Steakhouse in Vero Beach, Florida, he took my hands and held them with his heart. I cried a flood of tears as he asked about my parents’ divorce a few years earlier. I had only known him for a few hours, but it felt like a lifetime. He was so tender. So sweet. So loving. And wonderful.

The next few months were the most intensely thrilling days of our lives. We barely ate. We hardly slept. We spent hours upon hours talking into the wee hours of the night. We bore our heart and souls to one another. When we weren’t together, we were thinking about all of the wonderful qualities the other possessed.

We magnified the good, and the good got even better. We skipped over every fault, and they were non-existent. (It is amazing what this concept will do for any relationship.)

Falling in love is wondrous. It’s miraculous. And magical.

But for most couples, it doesn’t last. In fact, according to some statistics, approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce. Such a sad, staggering thought; and so contrary to God’s plan for His children to join together as “one flesh.”

Genesis 2:25, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Have you ever contemplated how two people fall ‘head over heels’ in love so easily? And yet, that same couple can manage to fall out of love so fast?

In reality, keeping those feelings alive has little to do with a feeling (or who you chose for a spouse.) Rather, staying in love has to do with how intentional you are in those relationships. If we put half as much effort into staying in love as we put into falling into it, we would begin to experience marriage as it was intended to be.

Honestly, love has nothing to do with “falling” at all.

Love is a choice.

And the truth is, good relationships don’t just happen. They are intentional. Great friendships require work. Top-notch marriages are built… And if yours are broken, the good news is- with some intentionality- they can be rebuilt from the ground up.

This week’s “Building Healthy Relationships”podcast focuses on the qualities of (1) being servant hearted, (2)being led be the Spirit of God and not by your emotions and (3) being intentional in your relationships. I hope you will take some time to listen in on how to build (or rebuild) healthy relationships in your life.

Building Healthy Relationships Podcast: It All Starts With You.

Building Healthy Relationships: It All Starts With You… Week 2-Part 1

Building Healthy Relationships: It All Starts With You… Week 2-Part 2

A few years ago, a woman greeted me at the end of the long aisle of my church. She wanted prayer for her husband – that the Lord would change him. The prayer I prayed sounded nothing like what she asked for.

It wasn’t my intention….

But it was the leading of my heart.  I prayed, instead, that the Lord would change her.

Matthew 7:3-5,  says“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye; and look a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s eye.”

I believe we spend way too much time looking outwardly at others, pointing to the faults we see in those we love.  We point out their imperfections; their weaknesses, their shortcomings. When, truly, we should be pointing our finger at ourselves- the only person we can do anything about; the only person we can actually change.

Why is it that we see the faults of others through a microscope, but look at ours through rose-colored glasses? It should not be so.

In this powerful teaching, I challenge the listener to take a good, hard look at themselves. Who you are? How do you behave? And what is the character you are exhibiting in your relationships? (—Not the face you put on at the grocery store or when you walk into church, but the one you wear inside the four walls of your home.) Then we discuss five qualities that are crucial in having and building healthy relationships.

This podcast entitled, “Building Healthy Relationships: It All Starts With You,” is sure to, not only make you laugh, but is something you will truly be able to relate to and learn from. Listen in.  If there is any way possible, I would love for you to join me on Thursday mornings at 10am at the “Avenue” of East Coast Christian Center for a live teaching.

In closing, you may now subscribe to my You Tube Channel (click here) to view the video version of this series.  (I am so excited for this new adventure! #thisgirlisgoingtechno!!!!)  Or- to sign up to receive a notification via email each time I post, please scroll to the bottom of this post and enter your email.

May the Lord richly bless all the works of you hands!

Thank you,

Amy

Building Healthy Relationships Podcast: Will You Believe?

Building Healthy Relationships: Part 1- What I’ve Learned.

Building Healthy Relationships: Part 2- Will You Believe?

As simple minded as it may be, when I was a young girl, my heart’s one true desire was to be married.  But not just to any old man. Like most girls, I dreamed of sailing off into the sunset with the man of my dreams.

We often met at the ball. Me wearing my glass slippers, and he dressed to the nines in his perfectly pressed, black tuxedo. When the night began, we danced alone. But before the clock struck midnight, from across the room our eyes met.

My life was changed in an instant. It was love at first sight.

I knew he was “the one.” But more importantly, he knew me, as well.

I was his princess.

And he– was my prince; the man I had dreamed about for years. The one I spent a lifetime waiting for. He who knew me better than anyone else. The one who spent a lifetime cherishing, admiring and pampering me, his beloved wife. It was he, who could read my heart by simply looking into my eyes. My prince- the one who recognized my beauty and could see my worth. It was he- the only gentleman in the world worthy of my love.

It was my fairy tale. My dream. My heart’s desire…

Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

In reality, I spent years waiting for the ball, expecting to one day meet my prince. For years, I was disappointed. Discouragement made her home in my heart. I’d lie awake at night wondering, “God- You who created the Universe- Why won’t you grant me just this one wish?”

It took some time, but eventually I came to understand… I wasn’t yet the wife deserving of the husband I so longed for.

In my time of waiting, God molded me into a woman perfectly suited for my loving prince. And, I promise you, he was well-worth the wait.

In this latest series, “Building Healthy Relationships,” I share some of the important lessons I learned in my time of waiting (lessons that have proven to be invaluable in the making of a beautiful life and healthy, happy relationships) and what you can do to begin the process of restoring and/or making stronger the relationships you are currently in.

Whether you are married or single, you will love this message of hope. God has a great plan for your life, and a great plan for your future. He desires that you have healthy, happy relationships. I am convinced that this series has the power to set you on course for a beautiful sunset and your own happily ever after.

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Don’t Give Up- The “Greats” Were People Just Like You.

Part 1:

Part 2

Battlefield of the Mind Podast: Don’t Give Up-

The “Greats” Were People Just Like You.

Do you have a dream on the inside of you that you long to accomplish? Maybe it is a vision to feed the hungry? Or house the poor? Have you thought about adopting a child or opening an orphanage? Maybe you dream of rescuing lost puppies or victims of sex trafficking.

No matter how big or small your vision is, there is a tendency for us to think, “How could ‘I’  make a difference?”

When the Lord calls His children to step out into something bigger than ourselves, our first instinct is to think that somehow He has got the wrong person for the job. “Surely,” we think, “The Lord wasn’t speaking that to me. He must have got the wrong person.”

We go on to make our lists of how underqualified we are for the job. Excuses like: “I don’t have enough money… I am to inpatient… I don’t have any good connections… I have never done that before…  I don’t know the first thing about how to………” And on and on the list goes.

Have you ever stop to think, though, about the “Greats” of the Bible?

I mean. Really. Stop and think about the “Greats” of the Bible. People like Moses. And Abraham. Gideon. And Esther. Ruth and Naomi. And King David. These men and women were people just like you and me- with all kinds of weakness and frailties. They had inadequacies and tempers- just like you and me. Yet, the Lord used them anyway.

In this last message from the Battlefield of the Mind series, entitled, “Don’t Give Up- The ‘Greats’ Were People Just Like You and Me” you will be reminded that God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.

You. Yes. You. You have been called by your Father to greatness. Whether it is to greatness in your home. Your community. Your church. Your nation. Or your world. You were designed for greatness.

Isaiah 43:1, “But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator… And He who formed you… “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”

I pray that as you listen to this message you will learn what it takes to fulfill that great call.

Father, I pray that every person who reads this blog and /or listens to this message would come to the revelation that You have a great plan for their lives. I pray they would understand that You aren’t looking for perfection. That you don’t call the qualified, but that you qualify those You call. And- that you have called each of us by name. I pray that you would remind your children that it is our weakness that  actually make us the right one for the job- that  You would receive ALL the glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Quit Making Excuses

Part 1

Part 2

Battlefield of the Mind: Quit Making Excuses

In life, everyone has a story. I have found that it doesn’t really matter what “your story” is, if you are looking for a reason to stay in the place you are, (not pressing toward the good life the Lord has for you) you will always be able to find one.

If we are not careful, the reason we are the way we are, can quickly turn into the excuse we use to stay that way.  When our reasons become our excuses, we get ourselves into trouble. These excuses keep us stagnant and prevent us from moving into the victory that God has for us.

Your past or present may be more challenging than someone else’s. But- it is not your past situation or even your current one that prevents you from entering into your Promised Land. Rather– it is your attitude and mindset toward your set of circumstances and the excuses you make that keep you in bondage to defeat.

In today’s “Battlefield of the Mind” podcast, I will show you five practical steps you can take to begin to move toward the victorious life you long for. If you take a few moments to listen and then apply the principles in this series to your life, you will not be disappointed. You are guaranteed to reap great benefits. It is how God’s Word works.

Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Please Make Everything Easy, I Can’t Take It If Things Are Too Hard!

Part 1

Part 2

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast

I have heard it said that life is 90% attitude and 10% circumstance.  In other words, life isn’t so much about what happens to you, but how you respond to it. The longer I live, the more I recognize this truth as fact. I am wholly convinced that having the right attitude is a key principle in navigating through life successfully.

Having the wrong mindset towards a circumstance can turn a menial task into one of the most grueling ones. If you don’t believe me, just think for a moment about how much your children complain when offered a bite of a food they don’t like. What would take 5 seconds to chew and swallow will quickly turn into a long, drawn out temper-tantrum at the dinner table ending in tears and frustration an hour later.

Unfortunately, like children facing brussel sprouts, when facing challenges in life many people destroy themselves before they ever even get started. They kill their opportunity for success with mindsets that sound something like this… “I can’t take it anymore. This is just too hard!”

I promise you- You are stronger than you know.

Whatever it is that you are going through today, I want to encourage you. With the right attitude, you will make it through the other side. The Lord has promised you victory. You are strong enough to bear it. And it is not too difficult for you!

Deuteronomy 30:11, “For this commandment which I command you this day is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off.”

In this podcast based on Joyce Meyer’s book, “Battlefield of the Mind”, you will learn how to work with the grace of God to bring about the desired change in your attitudes allowing you to face every situation with the proper mindset for victory.

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Wilderness Mentalities

Part 1: “My Future is Determined by My Past and My Present”

Part 2:”Someone Do It for Me; I Don’t Want to Take Responsibility.”

Battlefield of the Mind: Wilderness Mentalities

Can you imagine going through life with dark tinted windows? Shades over your eyes? Or walking in a fog? Never truly being able to appreciate the world for what it has to offer.

Would you even know how blue the sky really is? Or how brightly the sun shines every day?

Unfortunately, many people who go through life like this don’t realize they are missing out on anything. They are blinded by darkness, yet it is unbeknownst to them. They don’t have literal shades on, but these people see life through a foggy filter that warps every good gift and constantly leaves them wanting more.

I used to be “one of them.”

I had so much to be thankful for, yet I couldn’t truly appreciate my life. I was forever looking at what was missing in my life. Instead of appreciating all the good things I had been blessed with, I focused on the few things I was lacking.

My mind was a wilderness, full of all kinds of wrong mindsets. I was deceived into thinking all kinds of lies. One of the biggest was this: If I could just get this, then I would be that…  And then, I’d really be happy.

Over the course of time, through much prayer and seeking the Lord, I realized this simple truth… “You can’t make an unhappy person, happy.”  A person who is a wilderness on the inside will feel discontent even in the most majestic of places.

Once I made this awesome discovery, my life began to change. Not because my situation changed. The change took place inside of me. My wilderness mindset soon turned into a bubbling brook.

John 7:38, “Whoever believes in Me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

In this podcast, based on Joyce Meyer’s best-selling book, “Battlefield of the Mind,” you will learn how to change your wilderness mentalities into life producing ones.