Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is Risen!

It is such beautiful thing to have this time of year to especially rejoice in our Savior's death on the cross and resurrection, so that we could be right with God and live with Him eternally if we will put our total faith and trust in Him to save us from our sins!

I have increasingly seen the power of daily reminding myself of what Jesus did for me and seeking to live in that amazing grace each moment of my life. It only grows more wonderful and awe-inspiring the longer you walk with Him! He is so incredible!

May the Lord bless you as you rejoice in Jesus and what His death and resurrection mean for us who have received Him as our Lord and Savior!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:9-10

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life." Romans 5:6-10

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beautiful Servant's Hearts

We wanted to give you a peek behind the scenes at the beautiful servant's hearts that the Lord is using as a part of this ministry. These three sisters offered to do the mailing of the Winter Media Challenge rewards - and did it with such joyful, delighted hearts!

They were a great blessing to many and a sweet testimony of Colossians 3:23-24:

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ."

Media Challenge Testimonies

We could share so many exciting testimonies that we have received from all of you who participated in the Winter Media Challenge... and have had to select just a few more to share. We pray you are encouraged!

Remember that this challenge, and everything else, is about knowing Jesus and His Word more and increasing our love for Him! There are many, many ways to do this. We need to pursue things that will help us fulfill our life goal of seeking to know Jesus more - keeping the activities, things, etc. as tools to help us towards our goal, and letting Jesus BE our goal. May the Lord bless you all so much as you continue to let this be your goal in life!

Here are a few encouraging testimonies:

“This Media Challenge has been a blessing in my life, through reading my Bible 15 min. a day has helped me gain a better relationship with my Father in heaven. I am thankful!” Joy, OR

"The Lord showed me that He can be my only Joy if I let Him. I need to rejoice in the Lord always!" ~ Angela, MN

“This Media Challenge was so wonderful for me! I spent way more time in God’s Word and with my family rather than being sucked into the computer. I learned so much from the Bible and will definitely keep reading and studying and praying. I am also going to keep staying off the computer more. I will not go back to my old ways of practically living on the Internet.” Laney, ND

“...the Lord helped me show myself that media is my slave, not the other way around. I learned a lot.” Alyssa, MN

“I must say, this has been weird. (It was hard for a while.)… When I say weird, I am referring to the fact that I do not have a strong desire to go on blogs now. This was a great idea… thanks for the chance and encouragement to take a break.” Krista, WA

“The Lord has blessed me this month giving me resistance from the TV and computer. My whole family didn’t watch any movies, so instead of watching movies, we played a lot more games together and had lots of fun.” Celia, MO

“I thought a lot about how I am using my time: Am I wasting it? Or doing something productive? Would God want me doing this? Now before I go on the computer or TV I check myself – What is my motive? If it is okay and not wasting my time, I go ahead and do it. If its not, I go do something else, like memorizing verses. I have a lot more time now to be doing things that needed to get done, or do other non-media related fun things.” Jacqueline, MN

“This month I felt a lot closer to God. I spent time with Him and had a great time. I found that daily devotionals just became a habit and I will continue. After spending time with the Lord I found it wasn’t that hard to stay off media. I have spent a lot more time in prayer and felt more at peace. I also found that when I started studying my Bible and sharing I just kept wanting more. I was murch more interested in church and the other devotional talks…” Carrie, Bismark, ND

“I really thought I didn’t use the internet as much as I did and this challenge really was a great eye opener! During this month I grew closer to the Lord and had more time to study my Bible. It also free up time to work on projects I haven’t had a lot of time for…” Cassie, ND

“I feel like I have more time to be with my family now. Now, when I have a problem, I run to God’s Word instead of getting caught up in a computer screen and it’s amazing!” Dianna, GA

"During the month of March, my heart has grown closer to Jesus by removing a substantial amount of media from my daily life. I have spent so much more time with the Lord! This was exactly what I needed for this season in my life. I have enjoyed the break from the computer. I realized how much time I really had been spending reading blogs, on my Facebook, etc. I’m so going to cut back! I have been able to read through a lot of the Bible, finding many verses that applied to exactly what I needed to hear that day! My faith has increased, my “need” for media has decreased. I’m so thankful to the Lord for what He is doing in my life. I am a work in progress!" Madeline, MN

"Wow! I am so excited about what God has done in my life as a result of this challenge! My walk with Him has been deepened. I had gotten into the habit of just reading a chapter in my Bible, zipping through a prayer, and then bouncing up to get into my days activities. But having to spend 15 minutes every day in the Bible and in prayer really helped me to put God as the center of my lie. I also started keeping a notebook where I jotted down verses from my devotions, and edifying quotes from devotional books and biographies... when (the challenge was over) I went to check out the blogs that I follow, I was very disappointed in how unedifying they were to me. I felt very detached from everything. I praise the Lord that He helped break that bond for me so that I do not feel as strong of a pull towards it. Thanks for hosting this Media Minimization Challenge. What a blessing it has been to me!" Hannah

"God has really helped me make Bible reading everyday a habit, and with God’s grace it will continue to be a habit. I realized that being in the Word everyday, drew me closer to God and made me a happier, calmer person. God has really been working on me, showing me sins I didn’t ever dream of, and helping me work to defeat them... God has given me a hunger to want to know Him more and more, a want to love Him, and a want to be with Him always. This has been a time where God has really drawn me closer to Him. I am so glad I accepted this challenge, because now I love God more and He is showing Himself to me in ways I never could have imagined."
Mackenzie, MN

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wait for the Lord

"For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him."
~ Isaiah 64:4 (Amplified Bible)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Loving the Lord Videocast #4 - The Importance of Truth

In this video I have you over to my house for lunch - and I hope you will join me. :)

The theme of this videocast is - "The Importance of Truth." So often we do not live in the fullness of all that the Lord has for us because we are believing the lies of the enemy and are not standing on the Truth of God's Word. What we believe and claim as truth shapes us and impacts every part of our being! In this video we look at this important issue!

Have a wonderful day walking in Truth!

Amy Vest

"And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Fruit of Seeking Christ

Here is another Winter Challenge testimony from a young woman named Sarah from Easton, Kansas ~

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)

The Word of God, how vast! How precious!
This past month, God has done great things in my heart. My prayer at the beginning of the winter challenge was found in Psalm 119:18, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” I had realized my finite knowledge and love for God's precious Word, and prayed earnestly and wholeheartedly that He would open my mind to see its treasures and that He would grow me in love for my Savior Jesus Christ. I can say that God has truly answered that prayer more than I ever hoped or imagined. How small my faith is! Toward the end of March, I found the treasure verse in Psalm 81:10 while memorizing portions from this book. It has become my “theme verse” for the month: “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). God has filled my heart to overflowing! How lax I had been to seek God's Word with my whole heart as Psalm 119:2 says, yet as I did so in March, I found that my God is so faithful to reward “them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Truly my flesh rebelled against the restrictions from Internet this month, but oh, how worth every sacrifice it has been! It has been such a blessing to have the accountability and goal to work towards, and I am actually continuing the challenge for a few more weeks as I continue to seek God's will for my life. It is wonderful to be able to think on the things of the Lord throughout the day instead of having my mind constantly distracted by internet.

As I reached the end of March, I knew that I didn't want this chapter of seeing God's blessings to close. I have been realizing the importance of prayer, and how much I have lacked in this area. Thus, I made my own challenge for the month of April—to pray for a certain amount of time each morning. Already it has been such a blessing. Some of my other goals are to listen to several sermons each week and read deep biographies of great Christians. I have also set up several boundaries for myself in regard to how much time I spend online (I assigned certain days of the week for certain sites). The treasures of God's Word and a close, abiding relationship with His Son is just so precious. I can't wait to see what great things God will do as we seek Him! Faithful is He which has called us: “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands” (Psalm 138:8). Behold the things God can do when we truly “seek him with the whole heart (Psalm 119:2).

If you did not take the winter challenge, I encourage you to pick another month this year and take the challenge—even another area of sacrifice besides Internet! It is definitely worth the sacrifice and will be life-changing. You will never regret the investment you pour into seeking the face of our great Father.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A note from Amy on the Winter Challenge

Dear Friends,

I am being BLESSED... I wish you could see me smiling as I open your Winter Challenge charts! Your hearts to seek Jesus bless me more than I can say and I praise the Lord for what He has done as a result of the time you have spent seeking Him!!!

We keep hearing this again and again:
- "I am so much closer to Jesus!"
- "I found myself doing things I really should do and that matter a lot more."
- "The pull of the computer lost its grip on me."
- "I want to keep this pattern even though I am "done" with the challenge."

For those of you who are considering doing something like the Winter Challenge, I would heartily recommend it! You will not believe what it does for your relationship with the Lord, relationship with people, and use of time!

We will be posting more testimonies in the days to come!

Know that seeking Jesus is the best thing in the world, He loves you, and words cannot measure the blessings that result from knowing and following Him!

May the Lord BLESS you as you continue to seek Him!

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." James 4:8

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Winter Challenge Testimony

"I really felt like God prepared me going into the media challenge this month, and once I started, the spiritual opposition was something. I found it to really be a battle, as I was very ill most of this month with "nothing to do". Thanks so much for the challenge!... I learned so much this month, and now I can honestly say, I didn't miss the internet that much. Instead of internet time or movies, I found myself challenging me to see how MUCH time I could spend in God's Word each day. What a blessing! Really, the reward of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord is more than worth giving up a few other things." ~ Barbara, Bloomfield, Montana