Friday, September 20, 2013
I'm just a girl named Amy. Well, ok, I guess I'm a woman now. I'm am a wife, a home school mom of seven children, a vocalist, a songwriter and minister of music and a few other things...but inside, I still feel like a little girl. I'm drawn to laughter, I am unsure of myself, I would prefer to be with someone I can look to for wisdom, strength, protection and security, and there are days when I look around myself and I'm amazed that I am responsible for so much! I mean...how can it be? I'm just a girl named Amy!
While there have been times in my life when my surety of my calling has given me confidence enough to carry it out, those who know me more intimately know that inside of myself I'm a bundle of nerves each time I presume to take the stage. Once I'm there and I'm speaking and singing about the amazing truth of the gospel and love of Jesus, I am filled with joy to be able to minister to people and I can hardly wait for the next opportunity. But usually before I take the stage I feel ill, I get panicky, and at times I feel like bailing out on the whole commitment.
When I was growing up I was not so very drawn to the typical things other girls were drawn too. I was a sporty tomboy who didn't care much about what I wore, who loved to play hard and be tough. Girly things like being fashion conscious or popular or famous never appealed to me as much as catching lizards, playing cops-n-robbers or football, building forts, play-fighting or hunting with my big brother. When it came to friendships I liked to play mostly with boys because they didn't care about girly things either. They just wanted to play and play hard and I liked that.
But here I am, a life time later, living a completely feminine life as a wife and mother, being a homemaker, playing with babies (only they're real) and loving it. And even though being a widely known person was never something I desired as a teen, now I'm often on stage in front of an audience and people I don't know come up to me in various places to speak with me and tell me how much my ministry has blessed them. I get messages from people from all over the country, and even other countries, thanking me for the songs I write and the testimony of my life. I would never have imagined my life would be this way. After all, I'm just a girl named Amy. But, even though I didn't plan for things to be like they are, it blesses me to know that God is working through my life to bless others.
Who I am is not determined by my fears or insecurities. Who I am is not even determined by my own thoughts about myself or what I think I can do. Who I am has been determined by God, who has given worth to me and this ministry. Just like he's made me into a girly mama in every sense of the way, He has also called me to proclaim His truth in a public format. So even though I prefer to be out of the public eye enjoying my quiet farm, I am called to live a much different life than I probably would have chosen for myself. And I will pursue God's call with all my heart because THAT is His will right now for me. I'm just a girl named Amy, but I serve an amazing God, who transformed a little scrawny tomboy of a girl into a woman empowered by the Spirit of God to tell the world about Jesus.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Anthropomorphism -basically ascribing a human characteristic to something that is not human.
When I was young if I forgot to kiss one of my dolls goodbye before I left for school I would feel horrible all day thinking he/she would be sad because of my neglect. I also tend to think of spoons as being female...forks are male. And all my life I have believed that creation can and does "know" and "praise" it's Creator. That creation never ever forgot Him like man has.
It isn't like I believe we live in Narnia. But if you've ever gone hunting in the wee hours of the morning and sat silently waiting for dawn, you KNOW the sound of the earth waking up. It is completely silent...and there's a chill over the earth and all of a sudden the trees begin to "stretch"...and you can hear it! Their leaves begin to rustle (or is it clapping?). The birds begin to sing (are they singing to Jesus?) and even the air takes on the feeling of being "alive". The wind resumes it's travel (is it a troubadour?) and the rest of the animals seem to rejoice in the wonder of dawn at it's Creator's grace for another day. I've experienced this many times, and it always amazes me!
I've never thought of this as anthropomorphism, though this is what Paul says it is. I just took scripture literally rather than poetically when considering verses like,
Romans 8:22 " For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now"
Isaiah 55:12 "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
1 Chronicles 16:33 "Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth."
Psalm 65:13 "The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing."
Psalm 69:34 "Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them,"
Psalm 96:12 "let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;"
Psalm 98:8 "Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;"
And when Jesus' disciples were praising Him and the pharasees told Him to silence them (Luke 19:40) "He answered, 'I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.'"
I always just assumed that the same knowledge that COMPELS me to praise God compels creation to praise Him. Every morning my mind is turned toward my Savior and irresistibly I call out to Him in praise and wonder and adoration for His grace and mercy in the new day. And it seems to overwhelm me and consume me to a point where I feel it doesn't really originate from within me but instead is the due response (something creation itself has not forgotten) to God's presence. And yet...there are many people who go on about their lives and business in complete disregard for Him. They seem unaware of His presence, where creation seems completely aware. They seem lost and misguided and empty where creation knows it's source of beauty and strength and worth.
One day, God will make the truth known to me whether creation truly does express it's knowledge of of Him or if it is simply anthropomorphism that I am perceiving. Either way, God is worth praising. Will YOU praise Him or will you leave that to the rocks and trees?
Friday, September 6, 2013
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to lie in wait for an opportunity to "get the goods" on someone else? For others they need a little more coaxing but their interest is just as high. Their sense of shame (not that they are ashamed) seems a little bit more intact. They, too, desire to seek after those juicy tidbits of knowledge so instead they "confide" what they know or think they know under the guise "needing counsel" or "prayer support" or someone to "vent" to. It's sickening really. But Jesus is wise to this wickedness, and He always has been.
I think these verses are super interesting. I'm beginning to understand.
John 2:23-24 "Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men."
Even though they "believed" in Him...He would not entrust Himself to them. Jesus "did not need man's testimony about man because He knew what was in the heart of man"(vs. 25). We, on the other hand, have to learn this through experience.
I know I've blindly trusted many a professing believer only to find that he/she was not worthy of my trust. Even today, there are professing "believers" who spew hateful stories about me and my family, actively trying to destroy my witness in any way they can. I've even had facebook stalkers single out my fb "friends" and private message them with hateful testimony of my character. They spread rumors, bearing false witness about me without shame or hesitation, twisting reality to satisfy their insanely jealous lust for the destruction of my testimony. Does any true believerever desire to silence the song of redemption in another person's life? No. I can only imagine the demonic influenses behind such hatred. But it so reeks of the stench of pure evil that it seems impossible that such hatred origionates from it's human host. Though in saying that I do not deny it's possibilty...for some people so heartily seek after sin that I can not dismiss the probability that they are in fact children of the devil, seeking only what their "father" desires.
Sure it stings a bit to hear the things being said. But it's more astounding than anything. To think that others are so wicked in their imaginations as to conjure up such damning testimonies as have flown through their lips is amazing! But it's comforting to know that Jesus does not underestimate their wickedness. He is wise to them. And He is wise to those who would speak evil about you too.
So if you are one who is struggling today because of the betrayal of someone you trusted, be at peace. God can not be mocked. Your redemption is not effected by their gossip. Your worth as a believer is not dependent upon their affirmation of your testimony, ministry or devotion to your faith. HE is the one who leads you in the Way Everlasting. He is the one who establishes your faith and testimony. And though your enemies try to drag you down other paths...those that lead to destruction, your ways will be established by The Lord when you seek Him and only Him.
It is good to remember Solomon's words.
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 "Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others."