new vantage point

I’m normally leading Bible study on Sunday mornings but today we had a guest speaker and I got my kids to sit in to hear the sermon.  I sat in the last pew of the church so I was able to observe the congregation from a new vantage point.

A new member of our church gave a testimony – the prayers that we’d been praying for him and his family were answered this week.

I looked over to my left and saw the young mother that got baptised earlier this year.

A few rows ahead I saw the lady who’d just come to Christ two months ago and then seated next to her was the other woman whose life had been radically changed within the month.

Just before the offering, a new mother snuck in the back with her sleeping baby in her arms.  She is going to be baptised next month.  She was followed by her sister (who also got baptised earlier this year) and then her cousin and her soon to be cousin-in-law who are getting baptised as well and getting married in our church in a few weeks.

I couldn’t help but sit back in awe and praise God for using our church in the way since He closed the door on the previous chapter of our ministry.  It’s been such a blessing to see God at work and being a part of it.  Coming home excited and encouraged after church happened less often than not where we were last stationed so it’s a refreshing and welcomed change.

There’s a season for everything and right now, we are in the season of growth and multiplication.  It is good.  God is good.  All the time :).

– Ames –

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another milestone

Took a break from the books tonight after handing in one piece of assessment and also to prematurely celebrate the last day of law school!   I say prematurely because there is still 4 pieces of writing left to do and one exam to conquer.

Still, it’s a milestone nevertheless.

The three years really have flown – so much knowledge crammed, so many new experiences had, so much growing did (not sure if that made grammatical sense but oh well).

Each year was different.  The first began with such bright hopes for the future and ended with me barely surviving.

The second year, I was still trying to rid myself of the residue of the past but God gave me a prophetic word for the next season of my life and in turn, opened new doors and new ministries.  By the end of it, I was riding a new wave of momentum and the world was my oyster.

I started this year with a Daniel fast, seeking God for the next 12 months and what a journey he has taken me on!  My faith has been stretched, the depth of my relationship with Him has deepened and my appreciation for God’s grace has increased… and the year isn’t even over yet!

Praise Him for His faithfulness and great love for His children.  I can’t wait to see what else he has in store!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
    for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

– Ames –

not like, LOVE this – How He Loves Us

There’s been a lot happening down this end; too much to comprehend, too much to condense into a few lines before slumber befalls me.

All I’ll say is, Oh how HE loves me!  

He is jealous for me 
Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree 
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy 
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory 
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me. 
Oh, how He loves us so 
Oh, how He loves us 
How He loves us so. 

Yeah, He loves us 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves. 

So we are His portion and He is our prize, 
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes 
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking 
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest 
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way 

That he loves us, 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves 

He loves us, 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves 

Well, I thought about You the day Stephen died and You met me between my breaking 
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony 
…they want to tell me You’re cruel 
But if Stephen could sing, he’d say it’s not true, cause… 

Cause He loves us, 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves 

Yeah, He loves us 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves us 
Woah, how He loves

– How He Loves Us, Jesus Culture

– Ames –

Like This: Blessings

Heard this song a number of times now through various channels and finally downloaded it from iTunes.  Pretty much a song for anytime disappointments come our way or just a general reminder that God works in ways that we don’t always understand.

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.

All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Your love is way too much to give us lesser things.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your word is not enough.

All, the while, You hear each desperate plea.
And long that we’d have faith to believe.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win;
We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not, this is not our home.
It’s not our home.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of greater thirst that a world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights;
Are Your mercies in disguise?

– Blessings, Laura Story

May it be an encouragement to you as it was to me :).

– Ames

keep charging on

It’s amazing how much growth and learning has happened in the last 4 weeks.  It was a challenge but I’m glad I (eventually) rose to the situation and it seems that everything worked out positively.  One down, two more to go… thankfully, one month before the next one though! Really need a proper do-nothing type holiday!

I am feeling the lack of sleep catch up to me now and the next two days aren’t looking particularly free for just rest time.  Such a busy time of the year!

Just have to keep charging on until Monday morning… then (another) haircut+fringe perm, blood donation, eye check, ice-skating, graduation snapping, some catch-ups in between, caroling, Christmas, New Years and then 2011 will be over!  I was just thinking over how much has happened this year and it’s been pretty epic.  Lots of changes but all for the better.  Hopefully will do a ‘wrap-up of 2011’ post aka ‘a time to count the blessings of 2011’. 

There’s so much to look forward to in 2012 too… so excited for it!

But for now, sleep before these massive 2 days…

♥ Ames

seek and acknowledge

Two key thoughts from today’s sharing:

1. May we diligently seek Him –> He rewards those that diligently do. (Hebrews 11:6)

Seek the blessor, not the blessings.  Seek the rewarder but not the rewards.  Make pleasing God your number 1 priority and see how everything else falls into place (Matt 6:33).

2. May we acknowledge Him  –> He will make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:6)

Acknowledging God means we put away our pride and self-reliance and replace it with an attitude of humility and dependence.  No one like to admit they are weak (I surely don’t) but it’s only when we realise our helplessness to do the right thing that His power can begin to manifest and work through and in us.

Amen.

♥ Ames

beheld.

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
      test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
      and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

– selections from Psalm 139

♥ Ames