Author Archives: presson1

About presson1

Hi! My name is Amy. I am a wife, a mother of two (three, if you count our dog, Max), a dental hygienist, and a writer. Photography is my hobby. I love God, my family and living in the South!

In Spite of Me

God is such a patient Heavenly Father, especially regarding my inconsistencies. I walk by His side for a while, but then like a willful child I jerk my hand away from His and reach for the reins. My demand for expediency in what I want takes first place and I get too big for my britches. I eventually find myself in the mud with the pigs like the Prodigal Child (Luke 15:11-32), miserable and longing for my Father. I come to my senses, repent and sheepishly slip my hand back into His welcoming, waiting hand. (Isaiah 41:13)   

On long road trips alone, I listen to Christian music, Joyce Meyer, and Beth Moore. Church in a car! Worship and praise in song followed by inspired words from anointed teachers.  Yesterday, God used Joyce to remind me (once again) I am not in control, never will be, and shouldn’t even want to be!  In my car, I prayed for God’s help in overcoming my yo-yo existence. It leaves me exhausted and truly only our Father knows best.

The answer to how to handle all those things we seek to control is well explained by Beth Moore. Download her “Living Proof Live” app and listen to the “The Basket Case” series. I am a recovering fixer/controller. Heck, that’s probably actually code for worrier, right!? My favorite part of the series is when Beth suggests that we handle any problem or concern like a “hot potato” and “cast it off to God.” Love the visual that evokes. Here’s a little mantra for you… PRAY, PITCH and PRAISE! I literally pitch my problems toward heaven while I pray.

We all grow closer to God and become more like Christ when we come against Goliath’s in our lives. We can’t have growth and control at the same time because we can’t see down the road to how God will use these tough times. Our job is to keep our eyes on God and not on the problem. The problem blinds us, worries us, makes us want to find a quick way out, and gives Satan a foothold.

The words of the printable above (found under Freebies) are from the movie “The Shack” an allegory based on the book written by Wm. Paul Young. I walked away from the movie realizing that continued focus on my pain and staying in the ditch I was wallowing in kept me from experiencing God’s love, joy and all that His Son, Jesus, died on the cross for me to have.  I have wasted way too much of my life staring at my pain and instead of the Lifter of My Head. (Psalm 3:3)

Better to “cast off” my burdens one at time like a “hot potato” than to drag them behind me in a fifty pound sack or allow them to become a mountain that blocks my view of God. (A joint Beth and Joyce analogy!) Time to armor up (Ephesians 6), fight to keep my eyes on God and follow His lead in the midst of the trials that most certainly will come our way. (John 16:33)  Lets press on, remembering all the while that Heaven awaits us! It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! To God Be the Glory!

 

 

 

New Every Morning

Last week Spring arrived in Huntsville in full glory. Though many flowers and trees in the valley had already bloomed, the trees on the mountain still looked brown and barren. On Monday, I could see spots of green popping up on my morning walks with Max. Each day, more and more trees leafed out, and on Friday the mountainside was completely garbed in varying shades of green. It is beautiful!

The shrubbery around our apartment complex also caught my attention. Literally, from one morning to the next the existing plants were topped off with bright green, new growth which stands out  in stark contrast to the leaves that had weathered winter.

The fresh, newness of each day reminded me of this verse:

Lamentations 3:22-23  (ESV)  “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

How awesome! We are blessed to begin every day with a clean slate in the eyes of God. What happened yesterday did not, does not change His steadfast love for us. Why? If we have confessed the sins of yesterday, God has no memory of them. His love is unconditional and faithful. Praise the Lord!

Enjoy the beauty of Spring around you. As rains soak the ground to nurture all of this new life, allow the living water of God’s word to promote growth and beauty in yours. Greet the dawn of tomorrow with arms wide open to receive His mercies for the day. Smile! Then go tell somebody about our good, good Father. To God Be the Glory!

Modern Day Disciples

When Jesus sent out His disciples in Matthew, Chapter 10, He had very specific instructions, warnings and words of wisdom. The disciples were given “authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (vs. 1) I feel sure that sounded pretty awesome. However, they were also informed in vs. 17 and 18 about imprisonment and floggings. Jesus said in vs 16, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.” Not sounding quite so awesome…right?! Let’s dig a bit deeper into the chapter.

As a child I remember being particularly disturbed by vs. 37-38 which says, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more that me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  At seven years old my dad did his best to explain this to me.  I wanted to be worthy of Jesus, but I loved my family so much.  How could I ever choose one over the other?

This verse is definitely one that requires more Christian maturity and understanding than the mind of a seven-year old. Yet years later at 57, I ask myself would I decidedly choose Jesus over my family, my friendships, my own life ?  In truth, we want to believe these are choices we would never have to make, but  this scripture is quite clear. Current events bear truth to this as we witness people choose Jesus, standing firm in their faith, and losing life on earth to gain eternity in Heaven. It can and does happen.

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father in Heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown before my Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

When my devotional time led me to this scripture, I was reminded of the cost of following Christ. I was reminded I need to live my life more intentionally, sending down deep roots in my relationship with Him because we never know what tomorrow will bring. Not that we are to worry, but we should be prepared to stand for our Lord, making Him and His will for our lives  first choice.

People need to see the light of Jesus shining through us no matter what the cost. Untangle yourself from anything forcing Jesus off the throne of your life. Seek first The One who is most important, not the things, the people and approval this world offers instead. Your family members are dear to your heart, but you minister to them the best when you are led by God to bear witness to them.

Please take time to read the entirety of Matthew 10 to hear more of Jesus’ words to the disciples. Take note, be encouraged, live with purpose. Walk in grace, in trust and in faith, knowing Jesus will never leave your side. This world needs disciples. WE are those disciples, and two thousand years later, this scripture holds true for us. Prepare a way for The Lord! To God Be the Glory!

Another Unbelievable God Wink

God’s timing is always perfect. He knows the best and the worst of what we are going through each day, even when it concerns a beloved pet. He knows about the specials things we love that minister to our souls when life is going crazy bad. God often scatters these special comforts along the way to remind us of His presence and never-failing love. Yesterday, He did that again for me, and I call them God winks.

We received word yesterday that our dog, Max, has cancer. Now I know he is just a dog, but he is a very special little fellow given to me at a time of great loneliness.  He has provided countless daily smiles, made us laugh and love, and been a friend when I felt like I had none. He has been our empty nest child who chewed up my Crocs as a puppy… only the left shoe of several pairs mind you. Perhaps he was attempting to save me from a fashion faux pas. My daughter certainly thought so!

As my tears fell, Max decided he wanted to go outside. Just four steps into the grass was this beautiful Tiger Swallowtail butterfly seemingly stuck to the ground. I rushed back inside to get my camera praying it would be there when I returned. I am a lover of all butterflies and I wanted to document this perfectly timed God wink. I wanted you to witness first hand His faithfulness.

I have never seem a butterfly shiver, but this one was. I am sure it was must have wondered why its presence was required on such a cold day certainly too early in the season for butterflies to be out and about. It sat completely stationary (except for the shivering) for a series of seven photos before flying away.

Only God could have arranged that moment… the moment when Max needed to go outside, the direction he walked, and the sighting of this butterfly just minutes before it flew away. This was not a coincidence. It was a moment of comfort, a gift from God and a reminder of His presence through this time. I was praising through the tears and the photo shoot.  It’s a wonder any of the pictures were correctly focused!

God does these things for you, too.  Purposefully look for him in your every day moments, through the good and the bad.  He’s there for you with your own specially tailored God winks!  When you see them, praise God for His steadfast love and presence. What a comforter! What a wonderful Father we have! To God Be the Glory!

(Search God Winks on the home page to read of other moments like this!)

 

 

Peeking Through Feathers

I want to share with you a story that has been unfolding in our lives. Four of the past seven months God has provided refuge under his wings during two times of unemployment for Eddy. A job loss for Eddy in Grenada set this all in motion. Without any doubt, after two jobless months and much prayer, we strongly felt led by God to move to Huntsville, Alabama for a job opportunity .  However, almost three months after the move, Eddy discovered the job was not as presented and its demands robbed him of all joy and peace. 

God gave him the strength and faith to resign, knowing this decision was best for him and our family. This was a huge step of faith with no job in sight in a town where we knew almost no one. Still we were confident God hand was in all of this. He had not brought us this far to desert us. Knowing He is faithful, we huddled under His wings for shelter, praying for His guidance.

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be a protective shield.”  (Psalm 91:4)

After two months of prayers and interviews, Eddy began his new job this week! I wish I could tell you our faith was rock solid every day of the two months Eddy was without employment in Huntsville. Daily I could feel God’s grace. The verse we were both given was Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” During my daily time with God, the word “rest” presented itself over and over. We did our best to do that. Rest was greatly needed after the physical move. We were beyond exhausted. God was aware that. 

Naturally there were days of doubt. Were we sure God had told us to move? We wondered what in the world we were doing in Huntsville, Alabama! Should we run back to Mississippi and the comfort of familiarity? During those days, God pulled us closer under His wings and reminded us He had a plan, a good plan!  (Jer. 29:11)  He reminded us of the doors He had opened for us to be right where we were. Peace would return.

This week, Eddy and I are peeking through the feathers of the Almighty’s wings, singing praises for a new job with confidence we are in God’s will! His provision and faithfulness during these months are now a part of our testimony…a testimony I wanted to share with you. What He has done for us He will do for you! Let Him be your help…the source of a new song in your heart. We serve a mighty God! To God Be the Glory!

(God is so good! He knows my love for bluebirds. Look what he brought to my window during all of this… another one of those God-winks!)

 

 

Just Say “JESUS!”

Surely it’s not Monday already! Where did the weekend go? Weekends always seem to fly by while the weeks drag on. You know the routine. On Mondays, your kids are more resistant to the idea of getting up and going to school…at least mine were! I remember Ben on several occasions chasing me down the driveway in his underwear because he refused to get ready and I had to get Miriam to school on time. Toss to Eddy for back-up!

The excitement of Friday becomes the reality of the grind on Monday when facing a week of work and the million other things you have on your calendar.  Once you leave work, you hop in your car to chauffeur your children to after school activities, cook supper, and help out with homework.  Sometimes you wake up daunted before your feet ever hit the floor, head spinning.

Without purposeful planning, time with Jesus sometimes gets lost in the frenzy that begins our days. What a comfort to know that we can still cry out to him for help when the morning  devotionals go unread and extended prayer times are out of the question until the house quiets down at night. All we have to do is whisper, speak or scream out the name of JESUS!

He knows your needs, He loves you and He is always at your side ready to help with whatever the moment or the day brings.  You better believe I was saying (possibly screaming) Jesus” when Ben was running down the driveway half-naked!

The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 16:11, “Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.”

1 Thessalonians states, ” Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Giving thanks in all circumstances becomes easier with practice.  (Even in the driveway underwear moments!) So if we break it down, this can become our game plan for the day.  As the song says, “When you don’t know what to say…just say Jesus.” Then praise Him in advance for His response to your need. God loves to hear the praises of His people and your praise exhibits faith in His ability to minister to you in the moment.

I am including a 6×4 printable for you to download and place where you can see it during the day. Click on Freebies to find that. And perhaps this song will ring out in your mind when you need a little reminder.  Have a great Monday and a great week! To God Be the Glory!

 

In the Flood or the Fire…HOPE!

 

In each of our lives we experience storms…some more devastating than others…all opportunities to grow our faith if we allow Jesus to guide us through them. What Satan wishes we would do instead is lose all hope. Hopelessness can become like quicksand. When I watched Tarzan, the black and white version, I  became terrified that one day I might fall into quicksand. (That happened quite often in the Tarzan’s jungle neighborhood!)

And what happens when you are in quicksand? The harder you wiggle and squirm to get out on your own, the deeper you sink! Hopelessness feels like that and let me tell you straight up Satan is not going to throw you the life saving rope. Jesus will! And He won’t let go. He will be your Savior, your shelter through the storm, your healer from the pain, and the restorer of your soul…of your HOPE!

The words of the song below beautifully describe that God-given hope, no matter what the circumstances.  Friend, keep your eyes on Him and once again live in the hope that is yours for the asking. You can also find a free printable with encouraging  words from this song on the Freebies page. To God Be The Glory!