Tuesday, March 31, 2009

BTG Follow-up Completed!

Congratulations to all of you who participated in and completed the Beautiful to God 30 Day Follow-up!

We trust that you have grown closer to the Lord and He has continued to do His beautiful work in you!

It was so exciting to seek Him together and we look forward to continuing to do so in the days to come!

As you continue to seek Him, we are claiming the promise that, "...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

Day 30 - BTG Follow-up - Your Personal Choice

The essence of a life that is beautiful to God is:

Someone who has come to Jesus for the forgiveness of her sins, accepted Him as her Lord and Savior, given Him full control of her life, and now is seeking and living for Him with all of her heart.

It is a life that is SET APART for the Lord.

YOU must personally make this choice! Noone can make it for you! Will you respond to this call to seek the Lord and live a life that is beautiful to Him? There is nothing better in the world!

~ DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN GOD’S BEST!!!! Is. 55:8-9 The Lord’s ways are so much higher than ours and SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!

~ Seek the things that will encourage you in Christ and get rid of the things that distract you from Him and living for Him. Heb. 12:1-2

~ TASTE the Lord’s goodness and the fulfillment of a life lived for Him for yourself! If you have already begun to do this, seek to do it more! I am on this quest with you! Ps. 34:8

~ Continue seeking and growing in the Lord every day! It is the most incredible, life-long journey! Every day is an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord and become like Him! Never settle for where you are at in your walk with the Lord. Press on to know Him more! Hos. 6:3

~ Keep your eyes on Jesus. Seek to know, love and obey Him with all that you are! Your relationship with the Lord is the most important thing! Everything else will flow out of it! Remember, "The main thing is to keep the Main Thing, the main thing."

~ When the Lord is your best Friend and Treasure and you love Him, all of the other areas of life will fit together!

Matt. 22:37-40 - "And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

Matt. 6:33 - "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

As you focus on, seek, and follow the Lord, you will know Him, find true fulfillment, love Him, and become more like Him.
As a result, you will become beautiful to God and impact your world for Him!

He is calling YOU to this - Will you respond?

Today ~
- Write a summery statement of what God has done in your heart these past 30 days!
- Review the goals that He has given you and find an accountability partner to encourage you in seeking His best for your life!
- Tell the Lord your decision to live for Him and ask Him for His help to live a life that is beautiful to Him!

As you continue to seek, love, and live for Him, you will see the reality that, "...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Day 29 - BTG Follow up - Setting Goals

It is so important that we seek the Lord for His will, set goals towards fulfilling it, and take action on those goals!

Someone once wisely said, "No one plans on being mediocre, mediocrity is the result of no plan at all."

Proverbs 29:18 tells us, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

One of the greatest temptations we face is to drift through life without clarified goals or true vision. In Christ we are called to so much more than this, friends! Proverbs 14:15 says, "...the prudent man looketh well to his going." Let your vision be Christ. As you seek and keep your eyes on Him, allow Him to give you a vision for your life and to help you set goals that will help make that vision real in your life.

A goal is something that helps you clarify your priorities, grasp what you want to accomplish, and give you something towards which to work.

It is so important that you personally seek the Lord and set goals for your life!

As you set goals, ask yourself:
- Why am I here on earth?
- What are (should be) my priorities?
- Where will these priorities and the resulting choices lead?
- How will this impact my life, those around me, and eternity?

A good process for goal setting is to seek the Lord and:
- Confirm what your goal is. (Set realistic goals. This could be memorizing a verse or two of Scripture a week vs. memorizing the book of Job in a day!)
- Figure out how you are going to practically work towards it. (See below.)
- Ask the Lord for His help. (We can’t do this on our own, but God gives us grace to do everything He calls us to do!)
- Take action! (Goals are good, but if you don’t act on them, they are not going to help you much!)

For example, my biggest goal is to know the Lord more. Writing it out could be something like this:
Goal #1 - To know the Lord more.
Application to life:
- Give Him priority over other things.
- Spend time with Him every day. (Even set a certain amount of time and what part of the day you will aim for.)
- Read a book that will encourage you in your walk with Him.

~ Today - Seek the Lord and set 3 goals for your life. Write out application steps for each goal. Choose 1 goal to focus on today.

We’d love to hear what your goals and plans of action are! E-mail them to us at lovingthelordblog@gmail.com!

Proverbs 4:26, "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 28 - Follow-up - Living for What Matters

Life is so short. All we do in this life impacts eternity - the life to come! That is FOREVER!

Let’s ask ourselves - "What really matters?" Our relationship with the Lord, His Word, and people’s souls are the only things that will last for eternity.

It is important that we keep an eternal perspective. "How will this impact eternity?" This doesn’t mean that you never get together with a friend, or are refreshed, but even then, what is the purpose of it? It likely will mean that you spend more time reading God’s Word than surfing the internet. Sometimes it will mean opting out of "pleasure" activities, so that you can invest your time in something that lasts. It is worth it!

We were meant to live lives that are filled with joy, fulfillment, and meaning. This will come as we focus on, seek, and live for what really matters!

Isaiah 55:2, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me..."

It is a daily, moment-by-moment choice. As we make this choice through the day, let’s ask ourselves these questions, "Is this what the Lord wants me to do?", "When I stand before the Lord, will I be glad I did this?", and "Will this last for eternity?"

"Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 27 - BTG Follow-up - God's Work Through You

The Lord wants to use you to impact this generation - and eternity - for Him!

Esther 4:14 says, "...who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

The Lord has had His women in every generation:
~ The Esthers, Hannahs, Ruths, and Marys of the Bible.
~ The Susanna Wesleys, Amy Carmichaels, and Gladys Alywards through the ages.
~ And, in this generation, He is calling YOU!

These other women made the choice to walk closely with God and to allow Him to do whatever He desired in and through their lives. He wants to, and will, do the same with you, if you allow Him to!

It will all depend upon the choices you make - which will determine how closely you know the Lord and how fully you live for Him! There is such a need today for people to stand up and live for what is right!

The need is great for young women to live the lives of Truth and freedom that God has called us to. Lives that triumph the cause of Christ and the Gospel in this generation. Lives of purity, devotion, and conviction. Lives that show what truly matters.

The Lord is calling you. He is saying like He did in Isaiah’s day, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" Let our response be, "Here am I! Send me."

Let’s allow Him to work through us! (2 Cor. 4:7) This can be serving at home, at church, at school, with relatives, with each person with whom you come in contact, in your city... and anywhere else!

As you step out in faithfulness to God - He is going to use you to fill that need!

You are "...come to the kingdom for such a time as this!"

"...I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8

March Ministry Update #2 - Girls' Discipleship Gathering

This month we had our final Girls' Discipleship Gathering for the year.

In our session time, we looked at God’s personal work in our lives and hearts. God is a personal, individual God. Because He loves you, He wants you to know Him, wants to shape you into His Image, and wants to accomplish something special through you - but, He must first work IN you. He is doing something so special in you. Our individual responsibility is to seek Him, desire for Him to work in us, and embrace His work in our lives.

Many young women shared testimonies of what the Lord has been doing in their lives. It was so exciting to see in a deeper way how real, personal, and wise our Lord is!

We also spent time in prayer and discussion groups, singing, and great fellowship!

We are so grateful for what the Lord did in our time seeking Him together this past year!!!

Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 26 - BTG Follow-up - Choices

Who you are today is the result of the choices you have made.

Each day is filled with defining moments.

The result of every choice will either draw you closer to the Lord or push you from Him!

It is so important that we make our choices carefully!

Choices we make every day include:
~ Priorities
~ Friends
~ Use of time
~ Input - What you watch, read, listen to
~ Output - What you do, say, act like
~ How spend money
...and more!

Seek the Lord and His wisdom as you make your choices. Choose what will help you to know Him. The more you do this, the more you will taste Him, see that He is good, love Him, and desire to make more choices that will bring you closer to Him!!!

"...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve..." Josh. 24:15

March Ministry Update #1 - Discipleship Training Program

This month the LTL Discipleship Training Program met and we covered "The Joy and Freedom of Obtaining the Lord's Perspective" and "How to Make Your Bible Living and Exciting." We discussed the importance of really seeking the Lord and how we can go to a deeper level in our walk with Him.

After our meeting, we had a special time of refreshments, tea, and lots of fellowship. A highlight was going around the table and sharing about each of our journeys in our relationships with the Lord! He is amazing and every day presents the opportunity to know Him more. We all left desiring to press on in our journey with Him!

Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

(To learn more about the Discipleship Training Program, you can visit our website at www.lovingthelordministries.org.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 24 - BTG Follow-up - Your Attitude

Our attitude shows what is inside of us.

It is the result of the condition of your heart and what you choose to believe - which affects how you respond to life.

The attitude you have when you do things is really important! God cares about your heart. 1 Samuel 16:7, "...the LORD looketh on the heart."

The more that your life is based on the Lord, and the more He is in control of your life, the more stable and unchanging your attitude will be. Malachi 3:6, "For I the Lord do not change..."

Psalms 43:5 is a powerful reminder of how to have a good attitude, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

When our hope is in God, we have every reason to smile (have a healthy countenance!) and our souls cannot be cast down! I find that when I am having a hard day, it is when I am hoping in something besides the Lord!

You have salvation in Christ! What greater reason is there to have a good attitude? Psalms 35:9, "And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation." When we really keep that in perspective, a good attitude will come a lot more easily.

Make the choice to have a good attitude by accepting the Lord’s grace, basing your life on Him, and rejoicing in the reality that you are His!

Today ~ Choose to base your life on the Lord, to think and believe His Truth, and to have a good attitude that brings glory to Him!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 23 - BTG Follow-up - Meditating on Scripture

There is incredible power in Scripture meditation - Reflecting upon the Word of God and allowing Him to make it to come alive to you.

Psalms 1:1-3 gives us a special promise about meditating on Scripture.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

Special helps in meditating on Scripture:
~ Ask the Lord to help you understand the verse(s)
~ Think about what it means
~ Ask how it applies to your life
~ Personalize the verse ("Blessed is (your name) if she does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly...")
~ Pray the verse to the Lord ("Lord, You say that (quote verse) - Will You help me to do that?")
~ Record what you learn
~ Let your mind be fixed on it as you go through the day (You can do this when you have memorized it!)
~ Seek to apply it to your life, with the Lord’s help!

Today ~ Take the verse you memorized yesterday and meditate on it.

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." Joshua 1:8

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 21 - BTG Follow-up - Thoughts and Truth

Your thoughts are so very, very important!

Your thoughts shape who you are - What you choose to THINK will affect what you BELIEVE and what you believe will affect your BEHAVIOR. So, really, what you choose to think about will affect your relationship with Christ, the way that He is glorified in your heart, and then what your witness is for Him in the world.

It is critical that we choose to think true thoughts that will lead us in the right direction!

The key to telling what thoughts are true and what are false is to compare them to the Bible.

This is one reason it is so important that we are faithful to do the following:
~ Read Scripture
~ Memorize Scripture
~ Meditate on (think about and study) Scripture
(We will cover these more in the days to come!)

Remember this: *True thoughts bring us freedom, lies of the enemy bring us bondage.*
John 8:32 says, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

If we see that a thought is not true, 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us what to do:
"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

Let’s set our minds on Christ, fill them with Truth, and seek to bring every one into obedience to Christ!

"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-3 (Emphasis added)

- Spend 5 minutes reading Scripture.
- Look at your thoughts. Ask yourself if they line up with Scripture - are true thoughts.
- Choose to accept God’s grace to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ!

Ps. 139:23-24 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 20 - BTG Follow-up - Purity of Life

Purity of heart will flesh out in purity of life.

Mark 12:30 says, - "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

We can love the Lord through seeking to have purity of heart, soul, mind and strength.
ALL of the areas of purity are so important, seen by God, and affect our lives and walk with Him!

Let’s look at the areas and related verses:
~ Heart - "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23

~ Emotions - "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

~ Mind/Thoughts - "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

~ Body/Actions - "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." 1 Cor. 3:16-17

Today - Look at each area (heart, soul, mind, and strength) and allow the Lord to show you at least one thing that He wants to purify in that area of your life. Accept His grace to make any changes that will help you towards purity!

Keep in mind the purpose - to be able to see the Lord more clearly! Matt. 5:8

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 19 - BTG Follow-up - A Pure Heart

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Let’s allow this verse to be our motivation for purity in our lives!

Desire to have a pure heart and life so that you can see God clearly!

The purer your heart is, the more clearly you can see Him. The more you see God for who He is, the more you will love Him. This will lead you to desire to follow and obey Him with all that you are!

Remember that God cares so much about your heart condition - not just that you do what is right on the outside. When your heart is pure, purity of life will flow out naturally.

2 Timothy 2:22 - "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."

Today - Ask yourself what things encourage you towards purity and what things hurt you in the area of purity. Pursue the things that help you and get rid of the things that hurt you.

1 Timothy 4:12 - "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 18 - BTG Follow-up - A special verse for the day

This morning in my personal devotions, I was reading in 2 Peter 1. The Lord gave me verse 2 as my special verse for the day.

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord." (Emphasis added)

I have found it to be so true that the more I truly know the Lord (not just in my head, but in my heart) and experience the reality of who He is, the more I have grace and peace in my life!

I would encourage you to (and am doing this myself!):
1. Ask the Lord, and look for, a special Bible verse as you read and carry it with you through the day.
2. Seek to know Him more! (Go back and look at the ideas on Day 4 of the BTG Follow up on "Seeking the Lord.") Then you will experience His grace and peace in deeper ways!

We would love to know the verses that the Lord gives you as you seek to know Him! Please e-mail them to us - lovingthelordblog@gmail.com!

May God's grace and peace be multiplied to all of us today as we increase in our knowledge of Him!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 17 - BTG Follow-up - You are perfectly made by God

God made you uniquely and perfectly with a special plan and purpose!

Let’s look at Psalms 139:13-16:
"For You formed my inward parts;
wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to You,
I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the
depths of the earth;
eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in
Your book were all written
days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them."

Do you see that the Lord has a perfect plan in the way that He created you? He has an incredible plan for you and has perfectly designed your life for that plan! He is so trustworthy in the way He put your life together.

The aspects of His plan include your physical features, personality, family situation, nationality, environment/social status, circumstances, gender, birth order, skills and talents, time in history, limitations, and more!

Know that it is His best for you. He arranges it out of a heart of love and for His glory!

It is important that you embrace His beautiful design for your life and live in it with all of your heart!

As you do, you will know Him more and He will be able to fulfill His amazing plan for you!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11

Today - Choose to thank God for the way that He created you and embrace His plan with all of your heart!

*Personal note from Amy - Even today I saw in a deeper way the wisdom of God’s purpose and plan in my life. It made me so excited!!! He is FULLY trustworthy! Let’s embrace His plan with all of our hearts, friends!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 16 - BTG Follow-up - A Powerful Verse to Memorize

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Memorize this verse today. Spend some time thinking about it, asking how it applies to you, and seeking the Lord for His help to make it real in your life!!! The Lord will use it to change your life, if you let Him!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 15 - BTG Follow-up - Living for an Audience of One

"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

It is so important that we live to please God ALONE as our "Audience of One!"

~ When you are pleasing God, you are pleasing the One who matters most. Let us desire to please Him alone out of love for Him and treasuring Him as our best Friend!

~ Do not live for the crowd says. (Do you remember when we had the crowd at the conference separated into cheering and booing sections?) It should not matter if they are cheering or booing! Keep people in their proper place and God in His.

~ This brings freedom to be all that God intended you to be, stand up for what is right, and to focus on His best. You have only one person to please. That is what you wake up for and live, breath and care for.

~ Always picture yourself before the Judgement Seat of Christ. It all boils down to this question: "Is the Lord pleased with me?" The response to that question is all that matters!

~ When each day is done, you can say, "Lord, if when I go to sleep tonight, You are pleased with me, I will rest well."

"I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless." Gen. 17:1 (Emphasis added)

Live for the Audience of One!

Today - Look at your life. Evaluate if you are living for God as your Audience of One, or if you are trying to please people, too. Walk through your day consciously living for the Lord’s approval alone!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 14 - BTG Follow-up - Your Identity in Christ

Where you find your identity is so important!

Your identity shows who you belong to, where you find your sense of worth, and what is most important to you. Where you choose to find your identity will dictate how you live, the choices you make, and your view of life.

Choose to find your identity in Christ!
~ Know who you are in Christ:
- A new creation, 2 Co. 5:17 - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
- A child of God, John 1:12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
- God’s temple, 1 Cor. 3:16
- Accepted in Christ. Ephesians 1:6, "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
- Chosen and beloved, Col. 3:12
- More than a conqueror, Romans 8:37, "...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
- Delivered, Col. 1:13, "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son."
(We encourage you to your own search in Scripture and find more!)

~ Live in the reality of who you are in Christ.
Don’t just know it in your head. Base your life on it!!! Walk in the reality of your position in Christ.

~ How will that impact your life?

Today - Find one aspect of your identity in Christ and live in the reality of it.

E-mail and let us know the difference it makes! lovingthelordblog@gmail.com

Draw your sense of worth and confidence from Christ and who you are in Him!

Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 13 - BTG Follow-up - Having your OWN time with the Lord - Part 4 - "Other Ideas"

If you find yourself still having a hard time being consistent in this precious time with the Lord, find someone to keep you accountable for having a daily quiet time. Often knowing that another person will be checking up on us gives us the extra motivation we need to do something!

If you have allowed your quiet time with the Lord to slip from your daily schedule, you can start fresh now! Our Lord is so faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him. He delights when we return to our times with Him. He is not waiting for you with His arms crossed and a frowning reprimand for your inconsistency. Rather, He is there with open arms and great delight to have you with Him again. We have no reason not to run into His presence with a renewed resolve to consistently have a quiet time with Him!

As we take this daily quiet time with the Lord, let us remember the reason we are doing it. It is to know our Lord in a deeper way and to be transformed more and more into His image. The exciting thing is, our devotions are not the end of our time with the Lord – they are simply a springboard to a day of fellowship with Him!

This time in the presence of our loving Lord is something we cannot afford to forgo. Seek with all that you are to have this vital time with Him, dear sisters! It will transform your life, bless you, and cause you to know the Lord like never before. There is truly nothing more important in life! When we stand before our Lord at the end of this life, we will not regret a minute that we have spent in time alone with Him.

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:13

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 12 - BTG Follow-up - Having your OWN time with the Lord - Part 3 - "The Ingredients"

How do we spend our time with the Lord so that we truly grow in our relationship with Him?

Listed below are ingredients that I have found to be valuable in my time with the Lord. These guides will help you to have a truly meaningful quiet time.

The most important ingredient of our quiet time is our heart attitude. In order for our time with the Lord to have a transforming effect, we must truly have a heart that is hungering for Him. Seek with all that you are to truly meet with the Lord. Be assured that He is "...a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." – Hebrews 11:6.

A good devotional time starts long before you enter it. I have found amazing results from turning my heart to the Lord in prayer and meditating on Scripture as I fall asleep at night. When I wake up, my spirit is already in fellowship with the Lord! (Also, get to bed at a good time so that you are awake and alert for your time with Him.)

As you wake up, immediately turn your heart to the Lord in prayer. Roll out of bed and land on your knees – keep praying. Tell the Lord good morning, that you love Him, thank Him for the new day, commit yourself and the day to Him. Seek to come into fellowship with the Lord before you see anyone else. It is a perfect start to the day!

Either continue on in your devotions right then, or get ready for the day so that you are awake for quality time with the Lord.

Find a quiet place where you can be with the Lord and hear from Him. My two favorite places for my quiet time are my bedroom, and a bench halfway down to our lake.

Schedule your time with the Lord so that you can make the most of it, and so that you can get everything in. (Otherwise, if you are like me, you may tend to drift, or find that all your time is spent on one thing while other things are missed.) For example, if you have thirty minutes for your quiet time, you could spend ten minutes praying, ten minutes reading your Bible, and ten minutes memorizing and meditating on Scripture, and recording what the Lord has shown you in your devotions.I have chosen to do most of my Scripture memory during the day by carrying the verse(s) I am memorizing with me on a piece of paper. This way I can spend more time in prayer. Find what works best for you with the time that you have! (I just gave the thirty minutes as an example for how to segment your time – if you can spend more time with the Lord, that's great!)

It is so key to start your devotions by coming into the Lord’s presence and fellowshipping with Him through prayer. This way your spirit is in tune with Him as you read His Word. I have found it beneficial, though, to save the majority of my prayer time until after I have read my Bible. This helps me to avoid getting lost in prayer and running out of time to read my Bible. Reading Scripture before the majority of my prayer time also helps me to focus better in prayer and to know how to pray.

Before you read your Bible, ask the Lord to speak to you through His Word – to help you to know Him more, to open your eyes to understand what you read, and to show you how to live. It is amazing the things that God has to show us if we will simply ask Him and search His Word! His Word is so living, and I am constantly learning how personally it applies to every part of my life! (You will find it a priceless treasure to keep a journal of things that the Lord has shown you, so that you can remember them for years to come!)

Once your Bible reading is finished, pray. As you pray, remember that the Lord is right there with you. He listens to every word you say, knows how you are feeling, and always has the perfect solution. Prayer is made up of many parts, including pouring out your heart to the Lord, praising Him, dwelling/abiding in His presence, listening for Him to speak to you, bringing your requests before Him, examining yourself before Him, confessing and repenting of any sin He reveals to you, worshiping Him for who He is, and thanking Him. I have also found great blessing in singing hymns to the Lord and in praying His Word to Him.

A consistent balance of all these things is essential to a well-rounded, vibrant, and stable walk with the Lord. We need so much to be in fellowship with Him, to share our heart with Him, and to have Him speak to us! As we spend time with the Lord and experience the priceless treasure of His presence, we can’t help but long for our time with Him.

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." ~ Hebrews 11:6

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 11 - BTG Follow-up - Having your OWN time with the Lord - Part 2 - "The Impact"

Our time with the Lord is so vital to our walk with Him! When we truly come into the Lord’s presence, meet with Him, and come to know Him in deeper and deeper ways, it will transform our lives. For as we truly meet with Him and come to know more of who He is, our love for Him will grow. As a result, we will desire to please Him with all of our lives, and our eyes will be opened in greater ways to who and how we should be, with the incredible comfort that He will be with us and give us the strength for each step. He is an incredible Lord, Savior, and Friend!

The saying "Who you spend time with, you become like," rings so true in a special way in our time with the Lord. We long to be like Jesus, don’t we? It is through our time spent with Him that we are changed into His likeness. As we meet with Him and experience for ourselves who our Lord is, we cannot help but become more like Him. When we come to know Him in a very real and personal way, we find that He is all that we need and that He fulfills every longing of our heart.It is so necessary that we come to this point of knowing and experiencing our Lord personally – for that is what transforms us! In coming into His presence, spending time in His Word, and communing with Him in prayer, we come to know His heart, receive His mind, and be filled with His likeness. Isn’t it a precious thing that the One who created and controls the universe loves us and delights in spending time with us?! It is the sweetest, most transforming time!

When we meet with the Lord, He gives us the strength to accomplish all that He has called us to do. Our quiet time with Him is the fuel for our spiritual engines – we will burn out otherwise. In our quiet times, as we surrender ourselves to the Lord as vessels for His use, He will fill us with His Spirit and do amazing things in and through us.My friends, we have a special treasure in our youth to focus solely on the Lord and to grow in our relationship with Him! Let us not waste it! This is the time when we are laying the foundation for our lives. The choices we make and the things we do now will drastically impact who we become. Our quiet time with the Lord (or lack thereof) plays a big role in this. Isn’t that an amazing, sobering thought?

The incredible delight and fulfillment that comes from knowing, obeying, and spending time with the Lord results in a truly exciting life. Let’s pour ourselves wholeheartedly into seeking the Lord and treasuring our time with Him! For He has promised us, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." – Jeremiah 29:13. The results will transform your life and bring you greater joy and fulfillment than you ever imagined!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 10 - BTG Follow-up - Your OWN time with the Lord - Part 1

Time with the Lord is the sweetest thing on earth! It is the thing most necessary to draw us closer to Him! Through it we come to know Him, to understand His ways, and to see how we are to live. If we spend this time correctly, it will transform our lives.

Yet why is our time with the Lord one of the things that most easily slides from our schedule, or a time when we struggle to stay focused? Often it is because we forget its importance in our lives and the impact that it has on our relationship with the Lord, who we are, and the difference our lives make for eternity.

When we ask the question, "What is the most important thing in life?", the first thing that probably comes to our mind is – the Lord and our relationship with Him. This is absolutely the right answer, but I sometimes wonder if we live our lives in line with this answer. Friends, I am writing this from my heart and personal experience. We spend so much time talking and learning about it, but do we actually take the time to cultivate that personal relationship with the Lord? Or do we become so busy doing things for the Lord that we don’t take time to be with Him? We take time to do all the things that are required to stay alive – eating, sleeping, showering, etc. In the same way, our quiet time with the Lord is so necessary for our spiritual survival.

My devotions are my most treasured part of the day. I cherish my time with the Lord, but at times I find myself allowing the length of it to be shortened, or struggling with becoming distracted during it. I find that the cause of these problems is that I have unconsciously undermined the importance of my time with the Lord. I have allowed less important things or activities (sleep, tasks, etc.) to take my time or distract me from the most important Person and activity in my life.

Over the next 3 days, we are going to look together at: 1. The immeasurable importance and treasure of our time with the Lord, 2. The ingredients to how we can make it a meaningful and life-changing part of our lives, and 3. Other ideas!

Today let's remember the Lord's promise - "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you..." James 4:8

Keys to Develping Inner Beauty

Do you remember some of the keys to developing inner beauty?

It is so important that we put effort into seeking to know the Lord and are open to allow Him to work in our hearts!

One of the most important keys to developing inner beauty is to make sure that we have a daily time with the Lord. Over the next few days we are going to look at how to have personal devotions with the Lord that will change your life!

2 Corinthians 3:18 - "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

Beautiful to God Conference Pictures

Below are highlight pictures from the Beautiful to God Conference hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Lord met with us in powerful ways as over 600 young women, mothers, and grandmothers gathered to seek His face! We praise Him, give Him all of the glory, and are so excited for what He has in store as we live to know, love, and be beautiful to Him!

(For more pictures, you can watch the slideshow on the earlier post.)

“ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

1 Peter 3:3-4

"Do not let your adorning be external —the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear — but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."
~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

Day 9 - BTG Follow-up - Inner Beauty

True beauty is a condition of the heart.

It is the result of the life and work of Christ within us. It flows out of where our heart is at with the Lord, our relationship to Him, and our knowledge of His ways.

The more that we come to know and love the Lord, the more we will desire to become beautiful to Him. He cares about your heart. "...the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Continue to seek to grow closer and closer in your relationship with the Lord and allow Him to work His beauty into your life - It is the best thing in the world!

Challenge for today -
Spend as much time becoming inwardly beautiful (in devotions with the Lord, reading your Bible, praying, etc.) as you do becoming externally beautiful (showering, fixing your hair, etc.).

Proverbs 31:30 tells us, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

Live to be beautiful to God!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 8 - Follow-up - How to be the best friend you can be

As we seek to have friendships that are meaningful and glorify the Lord, it is so important that we allow the Lord to make us into the best friend we can be!

Let’s look again at some of the keys to being a good friend!

~ Have Jesus as your best friend. When your needs are met in Him, you can allow Him to love your friends through you and focus on how you can bless them!

~ Seek with all that you are to become as much like Jesus as you can - Then you will be as good of a friend as they come!

~What is Jesus like? Can you help us list His qualities? Some that you have helped us come up with are: loving, faithful, patient, kind, and forgiving.
(Please e-mail us with more qualities!!! lovingthelordblog@gmail.com)

~ Make sure that other areas of friendship are in order - 1. Jesus, 2. Family, 3. Others.
Do you remember the box illustration? When Jesus is our best friend and we have found total fulfillment in our relationship with Him, the other areas of our life will fit into place! If Jesus is not first we will be empty and things will not fit together well!

~ Seek to encourage your friends in the Lord and in doing what is right.
- Ask how you can pray for them. Pray for them - and with them!
- Ask them how the thing that they asked you to pray for is going.
- Share what the Lord has been doing in your life. (A special verse, answer to prayer, how you have come to know Him in a new way, etc.)
- Do a Bible study together!
- Hold each other accountable for important things like memorizing Scripture, getting up for devotions, having a good attitude, etc.

~ Examine yourself with some important questions:
- Am I being the kind of friend that Jesus would be?
- Am I pointing my friends to Jesus, or to myself?
- What things do I admire in my friends’ lives that are like Jesus? Do I have these qualities?
- What are areas the Lord wants me to accept His grace to improve?

Remember that relationships take time to build and investment to maintain.

Ask the Lord to make you into, and give you the grace to be, the kind of friend He wants you to be!

"A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17

Family Relationships Testimony!

Here is a testimony we received from one young woman who applied the challenge for Day 7!

"For today's challenge, I decided that I would really seek to take interest in my younger siblings by listening to them when they are telling me something they did. That can be really hard, and is something I often fail to do. :( It is so amazing to me how little it takes to make a child's day! My little sister is delighted if I simply play a 5 minute game with her, and it means a lot to my brother if I take interest in something he is telling me. And it brings me joy to know that I am blessing someone else, and often serves to build character in me. ;) We can bring so much joy to other's lives if we will just be on the lookout for opportunities!"

Please send us testimonies of what the Lord is doing as you apply the follow-up activities! Other young women LOVE hearing about how you have applied the Truth and found results!

You can e-mail us at lovingthelordblog@gmail.com! We can’t wait to hear from you!!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 7 - BTG Follow-up - Family Relationships

Our family should be our closest human friends!

God has a beautiful plan in how He designed the family. This plan includes the fact that:
~ God gave them to us for our best.
~ God will use them to shape us into His character and prepare us for all that He has for our life.
~ They are intended to be our key source of support, guidance, and protection.
~ They are your #1 mission field.

The more we embrace His plan wholeheartedly, the more we will find the amazing results of pursuing close family relationships!

Seek to do one thing to encourage, help, or invest in each of your family members!
Ideas of what you can do include:
~ Write a note of encouragement
~ Wash dishes for your mom or doing someone’s chore
~ Play Legos or dolls with your little siblings
~ Take time to talk and be interested in what is important to them
~ Praise them for a quality that you appreciate about them
~ Memorize a Bible verse or pray together
~ or, anything else you know would bless them!
Remember that as you taste the Lord’s love, He will fill you with His love more and more. You need His love and grace to love your family and others like you should!

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40

It is key that you do your part to keep on loving your family and making an effort in the relationship, no matter what! Often it just takes you reaching out to develop deep relationships that will last for life!

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." Rom. 12:18

" Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalms 133:1

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 6 - BTY Follow-up - Choosing Friends Wisely

The friends you choose are SO VERY IMPORTANT!!!

God intended human friendships to draw us closer to Him.

Who you choose as your friends impacts who you become, how God can work in your life, and as a result, what He can do with your life!

It is critical that you choose friends carefully!

You want friends that will encourage you in making Jesus your best friend!

Evaluate your friendships and ask yourself important questions to see if they are relationships you should have.
~ Who are my closest friends?
~ Are they who I would like to become like and who would please Jesus?
~ Do they encourage me in what is right?
~ Is this friendship pushing me closer to the Lord, or drawing me further from Him?
Look at the answers to those questions! If a friendship is not encouraging you in the Lord, it is not the kind you want to keep.

Ask the Lord to help you choose the right kinds of friends - He will!

Remember, it only takes ONE friend to either destroy your life, or to lead you to the Lord and what is right!

"Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
"Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." 1 Cor. 15:33

We want friends that will help you grow in your #1 relationship - your walk with the Lord!


Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 5 - BTG Follow-up - The Benefits of Having Jesus as Your Best Friend

As you seek the Lord, there WILL be results!

The more you make Jesus your best friend, the more you will find that He is the best friend you could ever have and will see the difference He makes in your life!

Here are a few of the results:
~ Knowing the Lord personally will transform your life!
~ He fills the longings of your heart!
~ As you come to know Him, you can’t help but love Him!
~ All of the other areas will fall into place as you seek Him first.
~ You desire to keep His commandments.
~ You become more and more like Him.
~ You look at life differently.
~ You are satisfied in Jesus, so now you have a passion to share Him with others and allow Him to touch them through you.
~ You receive a real vision and purpose in life.
~ You have the joy of living with Christ in this life - and in all of eternity to come!

Your opportunity for today is:
~ Continue seeking the Lord as your #1 priority and removing things that hinder your love for Him.
~ Choose another idea from Day 4's list to help you in making Jesus your best friend!
~ Memorize Mark 12:30. (You can do it with actions, if you want!)
~ List some of the results of knowing Jesus that you have found in your own life! (We’d love to hear them, too!)

Remember that the more you seek the Lord, the more you are going to find Him and you will see that He is the best friend you could ever have!

1 Corinthians 2:9, "...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 4 - BTG Follow-up - Seeking the Lord

As you make the Lord your #1 priority and seek to know Him as your best friend, there are some special things that will help you deepen your walk with Him!

Your opportunity for Day 4 is to choose two of the ideas listed below to do today. Try adding a new one each day! Remember that the more you seek the Lord, the more you will find Him!

~ Tell Him your desire to have Him as your best friend and ask Him for His help.
~ Believe that He is real, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
~ Seek to know Him.
~ Embrace His love.
~ Spend time with Him.
~ Talk to Him throughout the day.
~ Read His word.
~ Obey what He tells you to do.
~ Have special reminders of Him.
~ Find accountability in seeking the Lord.
~ Treat Him as a friend - while remembering that He is the Lord, too.
~ Remember what He has done for you.
~ Choose to follow Him with your whole heart.

"...he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." ~ Hebrews 11:6

Have a wonderful day seeking the Lord!

Beautiful to God Conference Slide Show

Here is a glimpse of what the Lord did
in our time together at the Beautiful
to God
Conference last weekend!

"Do not let your adorning be external —
the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry,
or the clothing you wear—
but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious."

~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 3 - BTG Follow-up - Making Jesus YOUR Best Friend

Once you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He does not want you to stop there - He wants to have a personal relationship with you! He wants you to have a close relationship with Him and to know Him in a real way - like you know a human friend!

Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You shall seek me and find me when you search for me with" - what? - "ALL of your heart." (emphasis added) It is when you make the Lord your #1 priority and seek for Him with all of your heart that you will truly find Him - THAT is when you taste Him, know Him, and can’t help but love Him!

#1 Priority:
~ Make the Lord and knowing Him your #1 goal and priority.
~ It involves choices! He comes BEFORE anything else. Everything else must line up with knowing Him! This means time with Him comes first before hanging out with others, you read His Word before you check your e-mail, you choose things that will help you in your walk with Him, etc.
(You know you do this because you know that your relationship with the Lord is what you were created for, the only place you will find true fulfillment, and the way you will bring glory to God!)
~ The more you do this, the more you will know the Lord and see that it is so worth it!

Seeking Him with ALL of your heart:
~ Ask yourself what the things are that decrease and increase your love for God.
Here are a few things that you have helped me come up with:
~ Decrease: sin, wrong friends, tv, self, internet, distraction with boys, laziness, things in wrong priority*
*Idols - Remember that things that stand in God’s way (or take His rightful place) are really idols. Get them out! They can even good things taking priority over God.
NOTHING is worth standing in the way of the most important thing in the world - your relationship with the Lord!

~ Increase: time with Him, reading His Word, worship, being with others who love Him, remembering what He has done for you, prayer...
Pursue those things that you know increase your love for God and help you grow in your relationship with Him! Every step you take, minute you spend, and choice you make to follow Him will bring you closer in your relationship with Him!

~ Look at your life, accept God’s grace to remove the things are decreasing your love for Him and to pursue that things that increase your love for Him!

As you do this, you will know Him more and when you know Him, you find He is the best friend you could EVER have!

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ." Phil. 3:7-8

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A fun reminder to "Taste and see!"

Today my mom and I brought a friend who flew in for the conference to the
had a special time together over breakfast, and ran a few errands. While we were in the Christian bookstore, I walked around the corner and saw this sign!!! (It has our "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Ps. 34:8 verse on it!) I couldn't resist showing it to you!

Let's keep tasting the Lord, seeing that He is good, and loving Him more!

Day 2 - BTG Follow-up - Who do YOU say Jesus is?

Remember the soul-searching question of all time - "Who do you say that I am?" Mark 8:29

If Jesus asked you that question, what would you honestly be able to say?

Today we just want to make sure that you know you have made the MOST IMPORTANT decision of your whole life - salvation. Remember that you must first accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior to be able to pursue a deeper relationship with Him!

Here is your project for Day 2:
~ Read through the plan of salvation with an open heart. Make sure that you understand what it means and that you have made that decision yourself.
~ Write out your salvation testimony. (We would love to have you e-mail it to us!)

Plan of salvation:
~ God created us to walk with Him and glorify Him.
~ We all have sinned - thought, said, done wrong things. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
~ God is holy and He cannot have sin in His presence. Our sin separates us from the fellowship we were meant to have with God and destines us for eternity in hell apart from God.
~ Jesus - the perfect Son of God - came to earth to die on the cross, to take the punishment for our sins, so that we could be right with God and spend eternity in Heaven with Him. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
~ If you realize sin and need for a Savior, confess your sin to God, repent and turn from it and put trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior - giving your life over to Him - you will be saved.
~ It is a choice we all need to make!!! Do not take it lightly!!! All of eternity depends upon your choice.
Rom. 10:9-11 - "...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."

Have YOU accepted God’s gift of salvation through Jesus? He does this because He wants to have a relationship with you, you to be fulfilled in His love, and to glorify Him with your life!

(For more on salvation, you can visit our website http://www.lovingthelordministries.org/ and visit the "Encouragement" section!)

Tomorrow we are looking at loving Jesus as your best Friend!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 1 - BTG Follow up - Taste and See!

Do you remember the chocolate illustration?

It is when we personally taste the Lord for ourselves that we see that He is good! Then we can’t help but love Him and glorify Him! THAT is what life is all about!

Here is your opportunity for today!
Spend 5 minutes (or more!) before the Lord:
~ Read Psalm 34:8
~ Record ways you have already personally tasted the Lord.
~ Praise Him for those things!
~ Ask Him to help you know Him more.
~ Decide on one thing you will do today to seek to taste the Lord!

Know that the more you taste Him, the more you will know that He is good!

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!" Psalm 34:8

E-mail us and let us know the results! lovingthelordblog@gmail.com

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Introducing the Beautiful to God - 30 Day Follow-up!

We are thrilled to introduce a special follow-up opportunity to the Beautiful to God Conference that took place this past weekend!

We are excited for this opportunity to keep seeking the Lord together and to put into practice the things we talked about! (For those of you who were not able to attend the conference, we so believe that you will be richly blessed if you choose to take part right along with us!)

You can look forward to a meaningful, fun, and growing time of seeking the Lord and becoming beautiful to Him!

The 30 Day Follow-up begins tomorrow, so be sure to check back then!

*For conference attendees:
Today ~ Think back over the weekend. What was the biggest thing the Lord taught you? How are you going to apply it? As you ask the Lord for His help, and step out in obedience, He will do great things!

"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious." ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

Welcome to the Loving the Lord Blog!

We are so excited for all that the Lord has in store as we seek Him together!
Our prayer is that this blog will be a source of encouragement to you as you follow our amazing God, desire to love Him with all of your heart, and seek to live for Him! We are so grateful to share the journey with you!

The blog will include:
- Encouragement in seeking the Lord
- Practical ideas for growing in Christ
- Heart-to-heart posts from Amy Vest
- Fun spiritual growth challenges
- Testimonies from other young women who are seeking the Lord
- Ministry updates, pictures, and announcements about LTL Ministries events
- And more!

Instead of comments, we would love to have you e-mail us with your thoughts, testimonies, and any questions you would like addressed on the blog. Please know that we LOVE hearing from you and do receive all of your e-mails, we are just not able to respond to all of the e-mails that we receive! We believe that this blog will be a very special way to be in touch!!!
(Amy is more excited than she can say to get to stay in touch with all of you - and meet some new friends!)

So, welcome to the blog, and we can’t wait for what the Lord has in store!

We invite you to visit often or subscribe now for updates!

"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:13