Friday, October 13, 2017
A delightfully generous, wacky, fun Scottish friend of mine gave me a bunch of beautiful flowers with massive buds for Christmas. All through Christmas and New Year's, these flower buds slowly opened into full bloom to reveal beautiful tiger lillies. Watching these lillies bloom reminded me of what I get to do; only the "blooms" are the hearts of three precious ladies as they "unfold like flowers before Him." Together we are learning to listen to God and respond in obedience. The best part is that the unfolding just happens. It's not forced. At times it's messy and I often feel like I have no idea what I'm doing or how to help them see what God is up to through the heart-breaking circumstances. We meet-up every other week to help each other identify how God is working and challenge each other to live into His life-changing, leave-no-stone-unturned, transforming, life-giving Truth of who He is and who we are in Him. It takes courage, vulnerability and humility to let others see the real struggles and ask others to hold you to a course of action, but the fruit is visible and contagious. Jesus said, "Go and make disciples." What an honor for us all!
A lovely lady from our church invites some friends to cafe. Friends show up for a breakfast and now they come each week. These friends foster a 16-year-old girl called "K." K says, "You are all so lovely. I'd love to volunteer here." Marshall says "YES please!" K joins us in the kitchen and starts coming to other things like: church, youth club, and life group. During an Alpha session one evening, K goes on and on about about Jesus. Amy looks at her and asks, "K, it sounds like you really believe. Do you?" K responds with an emphatic "Yes. I do. I do believe." And now we have the privilege of being part of K's journey to know Christ and make Him known.
I recently had a chat with a neighbor who is dealing with some fear about family issues. She said, "I have been praying to the Lord that I might get back into church after a long absence and I never expected Him to send the church to me. You lot are my church." Those were God's words to us through our neighbor. Be His church to these people. Faithfully serve and love them. Make yourself accessible and available. Practice the ministry of presence. First bask in the Lord's presence and then, be present for those He sends our way.
Friday, January 6, 2017
As Brussels Airlines 2047 ascends through the layer of billowing clouds eclipsing my vision as in an artic snow storm, I listen to "Give Me Jesus" by Jeremy Camp. The plane emerges through the clouds and my eyes behold a sea of white ripples bathed in warm, radiant, golden rays. On the horizon where the cloud sea kisses the sky, careless strokes of pink and orange haphazardly tint the azure canvas of sky. I am wonderfully reminded that the sun is always here inadvertently creating all manner of beauty even though I can't always see it. For I am bound to this earth. But something in me is celestial; filled with longing to soar above the cloud layer and behold this beauty and then I realise that figuratively, I can. I can live above the troubles and cares of this worldly life that sometimes eclipse my view of God. I can enjoy His beauty, majesty, and peace by fixing my gaze resolutely upon Him each day in the mundane details of living. And soon His glory begins to eclipse the cares and troubles of life. I can fly with Him in this plane of faith and obedience and grace. I can spend my life beholding Him regularly. The words of Horatio Spafford, who wrote It is Well with My Soul resonate deep within me. It is well even when circumstances challenge my peace. I have deep, abiding peace that will carry me to my eternal home and none can rob it. I desire that others have it as well.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Wherever I am, my favourite thing will always be people. People make or break a place and sharing life with people is the greatest blessing there is on this earth. God has asked us to serve here in the UK and that meant leaving our own people for a time. But He has been faithful to supply new relationships and for that we are grateful. There are people from Scotland and Australia and people with Black Country accents that require INTENSE concentration to glean 30% understanding. There are joyful, energetic people and people in tight, impossible spots. People who are lonely, grieving, lost, generous, loving, needy, funny, big-hearted, struggling. I dearly love them all and pray that this loosely organized sometimes chaotic ministry will usher in a bit more of His Kingdom in each soul I encounter. Thank you Jesus for these people.
Several have asked, “What does a typical week look like for you?” In response to that question, here’s a walk through a typical week in my (Amy's) life…
School until 1 PM. Meet up with our intern and a youth girl who is exploring Christianity. Badminton Club.
School until 1 PM. Cook, clean, and prepare for Lifegroup from 6-9.
School until 1 PM. Discipleship group “huddle.” Administrative/secretarial work at church centre.
School until 1 PM. Visits with church members and unchurched. Family fun night.
School until 1 PM. Serve at youth club from 7-9 PM.
Volunteer at café, occasional outreaches or home with family.
Church meets together. Rest and enjoy relationships.
So there you are...that's a typical week.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
My wry and witty husband Marshall makes very much fun of me nearly all of the time. It's because he loves me. A thing I say that elicits immediate eye-rolling from him is "That is my favourite....(fill in the blank)." His response... "That statement means nothing coming from you because everything is your favourite." I ignore him. I will now share my favorite things about England and don't roll your eyes.
Thank you England for your delicious biscuits and chocolate paired with your soul-warming tea. I haven't words.
Thank you England for your premium steak and ale pie. The best one yet is from some butcher shop in Cumbria.
Thank you God for the North Sea and for your delicious cod. England's fish and chips with salt and malt vinegar are top shelf! Never had better.
Thank you England for your national dish...curry. You are a party in my mouth.
Thank you English bakers for perfectly toasted Malted Bloomer wheat bread. You almost come close to surpassing my Meme's homemade bread.
Thank you English for being the world's most courteous drivers. Who knew you could communicate so much by flicking your lights?
Thank you God for this island's lush, green hills that roll on to the horizon. I see why sheep love you and English souls roam you. Truly you soothe my soul.
Thank you God and English farmers for planting patchwork fields of rapeseed. Your brilliant yellow flower fields evoke smiles and thanksgiving.
Thank you England for the laws providing all of us with the right to walk, ride, cycle and drive in public rights of way in the countryside. What treasures and beauties await the ramblers.
These are a few of my favourite things about England. Insert Marshall's eye roll here.