God is Love

God is Love

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

About two weeks ago, I started posting a series of pictures on Facebook with scriptures from Psalm 136. I wasn’t sure the intent for the postings, other than I needed to do it. I felt certain I would follow-up with a blog but, I wasn’t clear what that would be either—until this morning when it hit me… His faithful love endures forever.

Last March I was laid-off, and instead of finding another job immediately I decided to take some time off to write a book that I felt God nudging me to do (I’m still writing it). We had money in savings, and I drew unemployment. All was well.

Now a year later, our savings have slowly dwindled down and my husband and I have agreed it’s time for me to get a job—but part-time so I can finish my book.

I found a perfect position as an office manager for a small CPA firm. I’ve always done this type of work. It’s comfortable and familiar, and I knew I would do well there.

Then unexpectedly I was offered a job as a writer/editor for a local community magazine.


The problem was that as a writer/editor it paid less than the office manager but it could afford me opportunities and experiences that the other would not. The risk was high, but the reward could be greater…if it worked out.

I felt God had offered me two options—one I knew well and another that required tremendous faith. He wanted to know if I was ready for what He had prepared for me to do next.

After discussing it with my husband, I called the CPA and told her I couldn’t take the position. At that moment fear washed over me and I questioned my decision. I had given up something comfortable for the unknown and had stepped out in faith into something that didn’t make logical sense.

A dear friend said, “Amy, walk through the fear and doors will open.”In Philippians 4:19, God promises to supply all of my needs. And in Romans 8:28, He vows to work all things together for my good.

There are thousands of God’s promises in the Bible waiting for us to claim. Although, two things are needed to receive His promises—faith and patience.

Faith in God’s word.

Faith in God.

Faith in His abilities as God.

Faith to believe God is capable of doing all that He’s promised.

And patience to wait on God because He doesn’t always answer prayers immediately. Sometimes He tests our faith for a period of time between our prayers and His answers.

As human beings, we tend to think of God with human logic. However, He can do exceedingly more than we can ever think of or imagine.

God is not limited by human understanding, thinking or reasoning. He sees the entire parade, whereas, we only see what’s coming around the corner or what has already past (and if we’re looking, what’s right in front of us).

I’ve learned that God wants me to find the joy in fear because when I do, I find Him. When I put my trust in Him and allow Him to work, the impossible happens.

God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to escape Pharaoh’s men. He led His people through the wilderness with a cloud by day and a flame of light at night.

God made the heavens and placed the earth among the waters. He made the stars and the moon to rule the night and the sun to rule the day.

I ask you, is there anything He can’t do?

God says, “Dream abundantly and plunge into My promises because My faithful love endures forever.”

Thank you, God, for Your promises and faithfulness. I’m believing You today for the impossible. I’ll have faith in You and be patient. I’ll walk where You tell me and know You’ll guide me in all truth because Your faithful love endures forever. Amen.




An Unexpected Lesson on Grace

An Unexpected Lesson on Grace

Have you ever felt justified in your harsh actions or words because of the perceived unforgivable behavior of another? I recently experienced this and let me tell you, God used it to circumcise my heart and brought me to my knees.

After pressing the end button on my phone, my heart exploded as raw emotions welled up in my throat and filthy, hateful words spilled from my lips, “How could they…don’t they know… this isn’t fair… I don’t deserve to be treated like this…!” And the accusations (and the bleeping) rambled on and on and on.

The more I ranted the more worked up I became and the more self-righteous and justified I felt.

Then a brilliant woman, softly whispered, “Amy, you post things on Facebook all the time about love, forgiveness, and grace. Don’t you think you should walk the talk and extend that same grace and forgiveness to this person?”

Ouch! Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but exactly what I needed to hear. Deflated, I knew she was right.

As I opened my Bible to Romans chapter 2, I silently prayed, “God let me hear Your voice. How do you want me to handle this situation?”

And in case you didn’t you know or have forgotten, God doesn’t mince words. The first verse read, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” – Romans 2:1

As a little girl, my mother warned, when you point the finger at someone you have three more pointing back at you. Meaning as we judge someone else, we hold ourselves to a higher standard because essentially we’re saying we’ve never committed that offense and never will. And Lord, help us if we do because His judgments are based on truths.

But thank God for His grace, patience and kindness that He so lovingly grant us.

God doesn’t care about our outward appearances. It’s the state of our hearts that interests Him. It’s easy to love someone when they’re lovable. But when they’re ugly, and you extend love and grace instead of hate, God blesses us.

“Not seeking the approval of men, but seeking the approval of God, walking after God in Spirit. It isn’t the life in the flesh that man sees that is important, it is the life in the Spirit that God sees which is important–my heart and the position of my heart before God.” – Chuck Smith, Pastor, Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa

As 2015 draws to a close and a new year brims on the horizon, I’m declaring God’s blessing on this situation, and I’m trusting Him to work it out for the best.

I admit I am flawed and sometimes my first impulses are not always so admirable. But by the grace of my Heavenly Father, I am blessed and capable of loving everyone– even the unlovable. So as Jesus humbly demonstrated, I will practice mercy and forgiveness, starting with myself.

Happy New Year and may God bless you with unexpected blessings and abundance in 2016!

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Mary, did you know? Did you know that saying yes would change my life forever?

Mary, did you know? Did you know that saying yes would change my life forever?

While I prayed and meditated on the meaning of Christmas, a vision of Mary appeared to me as described in the Gospel of Luke. The sweetness of the picture slipped over me and tears trailed down my cheeks.

As the sun gradually dissipated the morning mist, Mary walked towards town. A bird trilled a sweet melody, and its music covered her like a warm blanket. She giggled ecstatically as her heart burst with love for the precious creatures God had made.

Then the Angel Gabriel appeared before her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Her heart fluttered upward at the sight of him, and she wondered what type of greeting it was that he offered her.

But the angel smiled at her and continued, “Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

Can you image the scene? Can you see Mary’s face? The fear pulsating through her body as  she immediately thought, “who me”?

Doubts poured into her mind as she wondered, whom am I that God would want to use me? I am just a simple woman. What can I do? I’m not wealthy or hold a high position– heck I’m not even married!

Mary replied, “How can this be since I am a virgin?”

But Gabriel assured her that absolutely everything was possible with God.

To confirm it he told her that Elizabeth, her relative, was pregnant even though she was well past the age of childbirth. If God could give a child to her than Mary, a virgin, wouldn’t possibly pose a problem.

Then Mary’s unbelievable response, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be as you have said.”

The faith demonstrated by her words were remarkable. She dared to believe what she heard and placed her faith in Him.

God asked for Mary’s willing participation to allow this Christmas miracle to come to pass. Imagine what would’ve happened if she had said no because of fear or unwillingness to be obedient to His calling?

God, however, knew Mary’s heart and that she wouldn’t say no, which is why she had found favor with Him. Her destiny was to become the mother of Jesus– to raise him, to love him, to educate him and then to eventually let him go– the Savior of the world.

Can you imagine?

He called Mary to be the mother of Jesus and asked her to believe in the impossible. What an awesome and amazing assignment.

And think about it, because she dared to believe, we’re now blessed to experience the love of God within us every moment of every day.

Her words, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be as you have said,” changed the lives of future generations and will continue until the day Jesus comes back.

What is God asking you to believe today? What does He want to do through you that could possibly change the world, if only you dared to believe like Mary?

Think about it and tell God, “I am your servant. May it be as you have said.” Then wait with exuberant expectation at the miracles He will perform all because you willingly dared to believe and said YES!



It’s a Super Power

It’s a Super Power

“When you watch someone you love almost die and then come back to life it gives you a new perspective. Dad’s illness and recovery made me want to help others who are hurting or suffering. It made me pursue an education to become a nurse. I appreciate my family more but most of all it showed me the power of being an organ donor. The crazy thing is we can all do it…it’s literally like a super power!” – Mallory Ensley

Although that day seemed like a lifetime ago, the memory falls over Mallory like a soft blanket. She can still recall the hint of pine in the air and the almost sweet fragrance from the rain the day before. They had finally reached the mountains peak, and the sky above was bright blue and clear.

With the exhilaration of a child, she exclaimed, “Daddy, we made it.”

That was a good day– although she was only seven, Mallory would remember it forever. Her dad, strong, healthy and vibrant, taught her courage and bravery, and how to reach for the impossible and overcome the mountains in her life.

Not long after that day he became sick. Vomiting after meals and with high blood pressure, he would lay awake most nights restless and weak. Mallory worried and didn’t understand why he couldn’t play anymore.

In 2001, shortly after turning eleven, her dad, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. The diagnosis explained his failing health, but the impending fear of losing him caused her to withdraw. She developed severe anxiety and depression and went through a period of denial pretending it wasn’t as bad as the doctors had determined.

In her senior year of high school, the disease progressed into End Stage Renal Failure (ESRF) and immediately her father began dialysis. Faced with the knowledge that he could die Mallory didn’t know how to process her feelings and began acting out in severe teenage defiance.

“I saw my Dad’s illness as abandonment and as a result, I didn’t trust people. I didn’t want to lose the people I loved,” says Mallory. “I resented my mom but also felt guilty about my dad.”

Ironically, it was the strength of her sister that helped pull Mallory through the darkness of her dad’s disease. “We have a special bond now because of Dad’s illness. When times got tough, and no one else would understand, we had each other.” They embraced lyrics from a song by a band, Hole– “live through this with me, and I’ll swear that I’ll die for you.”

As time passed, her dad got worse. In 2011, he lost nearly 100-pounds and was at the point of death. Dialysis wasn’t working, and he had become a ghost of the man she once remembered.

Mentally, she prepared herself for his death– accepting that he would never walk her down the aisle on her wedding day or hold his future grandchild in his arms. Those thoughts were no longer hers to dream.

Then she heard that a stranger was a perfect match for her father and wanted to donate him a kidney. Mallory could hardly believe it, and, to be honest, was afraid to, after all, that her family–her father had been through.

As the day of the transplant approached, fear and apprehension filled Mallory as she worried about her father’s body rejecting the new kidney. Or worse if the donor would change her mind or regret her decision?

All her fears were proven unfounded when Mallory saw her dad the day after the surgery sitting up, laughing and eating a cheeseburger.

He was alive!

Instantaneously, he looked like he did before getting sick– his cheeks flushed pink with a devilish twinkle in his eyes.

Today, Mallory is a more grateful person who believes in the power of prayer and has a new outlook on life.

Her father is well and loves to travel with her mother to the mountains and the beach– a life that wasn’t possible a few years ago.

Recently, Mallory married her best friend and with her father by her side; she walked down the aisle to her new life. The newlyweds are expecting their first child. The baby is due on July 6, 2016– five years to the day of the transplant surgery that not only saved her father’s life but hers, as well.

And Mallory dares to dream, again!





My First Prince Charming

My First Prince Charming

Where does the time go? One minute my baby is softly cooing in the crook of my arm and the next I’m meeting his girlfriend’s parents. Life happens fast – unfortunately, it can feel lightening fast.

On his first day of kindergarten I wanted to drive Alex to school but no, not my independent, free-spirited son. He wanted to ride the bus with his friends. So with his Superman lunch box in one hand and an empty backpack flapping behind him, we headed off to the bus stop.

As the bus pulled away, I ran to my car and waited. Then crouching behind the steering wheel, so not to be seen, I followed the bus all the way to the school. He never saw me, as I watched him through tear-drenched eyes, bounce happily through the doors of the school and out of sight.

It’s been that way ever since – I watch, holding my breath, as he leaps from one life adventure to the next.

His first day of college was no different. My husband and I moved him into the dorm and as we left, he waved and said, “Bye mom,” – no fear in his voice, only pure excitement.

This past weekend my mother and I went to visit him, and his girlfriend Catherine, or “Cat,” as she’s affectionately called, in Charleston, South Carolina. They’re both seniors at the College of Charleston and have been dating for almost a year.

We went primarily to support Cat as she participated in the college’s first home equestrian competition of the year. She’s been showing horses in competition events since she was a young girl and has grown into an excellent rider.

Bundled up in warm clothing and rain boots, we trekked out to the “barn” to meet Cat and her parents – not exactly knowing what to expect.

Jim and Therese, of course, were wonderful, and I enjoyed meeting them and becoming friends. But I’m not sure if I was ready for what I witnessed next.

When Alex was a small child, I thought about how he would one day be some lucky girl’s Prince Charming, and I prayed God would bless her. I asked God to help me raise Alex to know how to treat a lady with love and affection, so he would be a man worthy of her love and respect.

Watching Cat and her father, it was apparent that she was daddy’s girl. I saw the love in his eyes as she cantered the horse around the ring. And his face beamed as she accepted sixth place. It didn’t matter if she won or not; she was having fun, and her dad burst with pride at the sight of her.

It was, also, evident by her dad’s actions and comments that he silently questioned whether he trusted Alex with his daughter’s heart. To be honest it bothered me at first, but then I realized, as her dad he should judge her daughter’s boyfriend. One day he would give his daughters hand in marriage to a young man and no matter who it was, he better be worthy of it – including my son.

Being a single mother for many years, Alex was the light of my life. In many ways, he saved me the day he was born. I’ve often thought God knew what He was doing when He blessed me with my son.

Alex will graduate college in the spring, and he will have the world as his playground. It feels like yesterday when I held his hand as we went up and down the stairs a hundred-million times because it was his newest adventure. Although, he may not need to hold my hand anymore, I’m honored as his mother to watch him grow into an amazing man capable of loving, laughing and living life to the fullest – and for me, he will always be my first Prince Charming!

“A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best but his mother the longest.” – Irish Proverb

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