Thursday, October 31, 2013

Romanian Follow Up Video Coming Soon!

We recently had the delight of filming a follow up video to the Romanian conferences with a precious friend from Romania - in English and Romanian!  Please stay posted for it - whether you were in Romania with us or not! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Power of Telling Yourself the Truth vs. Listening to Your Feelings ~ By Breezy

As a short seven-year-old, the edge of the pool felt very safe.   Who knew that toes could grip so well?  My dad was in the water and I was supposed to jump in and he would catch me.  I knew my dad, I knew he loved me, I knew he was going to catch me, and I knew this would be fun.  But my feelings were telling me this was not a good idea – the water was deep, I was not very tall or strong, I was not a super swimmer, and there were no lifeguards close by.

This is the struggle we face every day: truth versus feeling – what we know versus what we feel. 

That day at the pool, I went with what I knew was true and I jumped in.  It was so much fun.  My dad caught me (of course!).  We laughed, we splashed, and I jumped into the pool some more.  
I see this scenario over and over in my life.  I read my Bible in the morning and my heart is encouraged and challenged with so much truth from God’s Word.  Then, as I start my day, feelings start to press in on my mind.  It is far too easy for me to forget the things I know are true (because God has said them in His Word) and instead be guided by what my feelings are telling me.

It is so important that I go prayerfully to God’s Word to look for His Truth in everything.  To begin with, it is important that I am honest with the Lord about what I am feeling so that I can address it with the Truth of Scripture.  For me, it has been so helpful to write in my journal the specific thing I am feeling and then begin searching the Bible for verses that will tell me the Truth.  

Here are two recent examples from my life…

My feeling: This circumstance in my life that I am going through is not fun and I am tired of it.  My life will probably never change.

God’s Truth:
“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenants and his testimonies.” (Psalm 25:10 ESV)  The path Jesus is asking me to walk is His way of expressing to me His steadfast love and faithfulness.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  “…What [God] desires, that he does, For he will complete what he appoints for me…” (Job 23:13-14 ESV)  “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?” (Isaiah 14:27 ESV) God has a good plan for my life and nothing can stop it.

“But [Jesus] said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid’…” (John 6:20 ESV)  When Jesus says, “It is I” it means “I AM” like God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3.  Jesus said this to his disciples when he was walking on the water across the sea to them in the middle of the storm, but for me, I can know that Jesus is the I AM – He is in control of everything, so I don’t need to fear the future.

My feeling: This person is not treating me very nicely today, so I will just avoid them today.

God’s Truth:
“Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10 ESV)  I am not supposed to be kind to someone because they deserve it.  I am supposed to be kind because it is what Jesus asks of His children.

Dear sisters, these are just two tiny example  God’s word is so full of practical Truth for every area of our lives and it is so important that we never let our feelings be in control of our thoughts and actions.  The Truth of God’s Word must control us.   This means that we must spend time in God’s Word to seek and know the Truth and we must give hard, diligent effort to letting it shape our feelings.

We can never stop ourselves from feeling certain things, but here is the key: will we choose to listen to our feelings, or will we choose to tell ourselves the Truth? 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Importance of Fixing Your Thoughts on Christ and His Word ~ Grace's testimony

Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on earth.”  This is so much easier said than done.  Personally, I’ve always had a very difficult time in managing my thoughts in a Christ-honoring way.  For a while, things were especially bad.  This was close to ten years ago now, but I can still vividly remember what it was like.  I would hang on to the different ways people had hurt me, which led me to become bitter towards them.  I was quick to judge others and to assume the worst of them.  I also spent a lot of time in dreaming of the way things could be and comparing myself to others.  I knew all of this was wrong, that I was sinning against God.  Yet I refused to surrender my thoughts to Him.  As a result, I led a discontent and miserable life.  By His grace, I did finally submit my entire life to His rule.  And I now love Him with all of my heart and soul. 

With this being said, though, it is still a constant effort to keep my mind fixed on Christ.  Every moment of every day there is a continual war in my heart as to what thoughts will occupy my mind.  Yes, Jesus is the Lord of my life, but I am still a sinner forever bent on my own ambitions, in need of a Savior.  Even as I was writing out this testimony on the influence of your thoughts and attitude, my thoughts and attitude were on myself.  Once again I had allowed myself to become distracted from my walk with the Lord.  From doing a lot of reading and studying, it seems that the only way to truly “set our mind on heavenly things” is by staying in the Word and in talking with the Lord every single day.

It is so true that the Bible is “living and active, sharper than any two edged sword.”  And we can never underestimate the power of what God can do in our lives when we know what His Word says.  I have been incredibly blessed to have godly people in my life who have challenged me to treasure the Bible and to commit as many verses as I can to memory.  In times of temptation or trials, it is only God and His Word that will keep me focused on Him.

When I was about thirteen, I got a bad headache that just wouldn’t go away.  We’ve been to dozens of doctors and tried every remedy we could possibly think of.  Yet here we are over five years later and nothing has changed.  I have learned so much through these last few years, I can’t even begin to tell you.  One thing I am realizing more and more is that staying in communion with the Lord is critical to living a life that is pleasing to Him, whether it’s talking to Him about my struggles or praising Him for His faithfulness.  What a beautiful privilege it is to be able to pray to the Lord about our lives!  Another thing I have continued to see throughout the past few years is that there is so much strength and hope to be found in God’s Word.  It’s during the times of pain when I especially need to remember that I have something worth living for.  To be completely honest with you, I often become discouraged and weary.  It’s on these days that Job 42:2 often comes to mind, which says, “For I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  I need to be reminded again and again that He is God!  And He does indeed know what He is doing.  He knows when I’m having a rough day, and He is always right there beside me.  He could easily take away my headache if He wanted to.  But since He hasn’t, He must have an even better plan in mind.  Another verse that often comes to mind is Psalm 55:22, which says, “Cast your burdens upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”  What a beautiful promise this is!  He will sustain us when we give our burdens to Him.  There is nothing else that even comes close to the peace and contentment that is found in Christ when we offer our problems to Him and fix our minds on His Truth.  

I hold on to the promise that one day we will stand before the Lord and no longer be tempted with impure thoughts and attitudes.  Until then let us hold on to Jesus Christ the hope of glory, always looking to Him, as He is the only One worth looking to.  As Colossians 3:1-2 says, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

~ A note with love from Amy ~

Dear Friends,

Oh, how the Lord loves you and holds your lives and hearts in His hands!  I am thinking of you, love you, and am so excited about God's work in your hearts!  The Lord has been doing so much - in all of our lives!

Thank you for your understanding in my absence from writing on the blog in the time of preparation for, time in, and recovery from ministry in Romania!  The Lord did amazing things by His power and we are standing in awe of Him!

Since the return from Romania, my health has been struggling, my energy is limited, and I am needy of rest and recovery.  We can see improvement especially in the last week, and at the same time, it sounds and looks like it will be a season of time before I am back to full strength.   

Jesus is meeting with me in sweet ways and working in my heart in this time, my heart is blessed, and I know His plan is perfect.  This time of being forced to pull back is being used by Jesus in so many ways!  I am so thankful He allows just what He knows we need to keep us close to His heart, relying on Him to work in us, and to accomplish His purposes through us!  I am so grateful to know that I am in His hands - He knows best and there is no where else I'd rather be. 

In this season ~ thank you for your understanding at my limited communication, I am grateful for all of you who are praying, you are loved, and please know that I am grateful to know that you are kept by the One who never grows weary
- Jesus.

These Truths never change and are precious rocks of rest:
~ He is always faithful
~ He never leaves us
~ He loves us with a love that compares to nothing else and fully satisfies
~ His plans and purposes are perfect
~ He is working mightily in your life and will be faithful to complete that work
~ and you can fully bank your life on His Word to you in the Bible!

I treasure the verse: " is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13)  I am so excited about what He is working in you right where He has you for those purposes! 

Know that I am praying for you!  Keep clinging to Jesus, seeking Him as your #1 priority, relaying on Him for His life through you, letting Him work in you and allowing Him to work through you!

There is nothing like knowing Jesus and this life in Him,

P.S. We are so excited about having you join us in the coming weeks for the final video sessions (and related blog posts) of the "Beautiful to God" Online Conference!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Releasing Session 6 ~ "The Influence of Your Thoughts and Attitude" ~ The "Beautiful to God" Online Conference!

Session 6 ~ "The Influence of Your Thoughts and Attitude" from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

"Truth that transforms. That is the Truth that Jesus is offering you. In John 8:31-32, we hear it: "So Jesus said... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” He has called us to live a life that is radiant in His Truth! Two of the major areas the transformation of His Truth takes place is in our thoughts and attitudes. Join Amy as we look together at the power of Truth - the Word of God, the Bible - and allowing it to transform our thoughts and attitudes in a way that impacts our lives and the lives of those around us!

Please visit our website for handouts and study questions for this session!

~ October's Memory Verses ~

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

~ John 8:31-32

~ Announcing the October Giveaway! ~

The giveaway this month is: A Beautiful to God T-shirt (Size S or M)

There are 5 ways to enter: 

1. Memorize our memory verses for the month and quote them to someone.  (October's are: John 8:31-32)

2. Watch the video and comment on our blog ( beneath the video post, sharing one thing the Lord is teaching you about purity.

3. Spend 15 minutes of personal devotions with the Lord in Bible reading, prayer, etc.
4. Find and memorize a Bible verse that speaks Truth about an area that you are currently struggling with.
5. Share the Session 6 video on Facebook, your blog, or by email, encouraging your friends to join us.
You can do all of the above!

Email: and tell us your number of entries by October 24th to be entered for the giveaway drawing. (You can enter a total of 5 times each month with the above opportunities)! We will announce the winner on the blog on October 31st!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Transformation of Truth ~ by Amy Vest

Truth that transforms.  That is the Truth that Jesus is offering you.  In John 8:31-32, we hear it:  "So Jesus said... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Let's look at this transforming Truth together!

1. Knowing the Truth - "If you abide in my will know the truth..."
It is one thing to have a knowledge of the Truth of God's Word in your head.  It is another thing to be personally knowing the Truth, believing it, experiencing it, and owning it as yours.  This comes by you abiding and being in the Word of God - the Bible.  John 17:17 makes it clear, "...your word is truth.This is the Word of the God who created you, has spoken the Truth to you in the Bible, and is equipping you by the power of His Spirit to know His Word for yourself.

The longer you walk with the Lord and fill your life with His Word, the more that you will see the reality that,
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”  (Proverbs 30:5) 

As you truly know the Truth for yourself, you will be able to increasingly discern things that are not true when they come - whether in the form of information, feelings, or thoughts.  Years ago my family was in another country that was both beautiful and different from where I had grown up.  When we went to a restaurant, I decided to try to be healthy and ordered milk.  When it arrived, I took a sip and quickly realized it was NOT real milk!  It was some form of powdered milk or substitute that I couldn't bring myself to drink.  But, how did I know it wasn't real milk?  Because I had spent years drinking the real thing.  It is similar with the Truth.  When you have known the Truth and are filling your life with it, you will be more and more aware when something is not the "real thing"!

2. The Transformation of Truth - "...the truth will set you free.” 
As you know the Truth, it: reveals to you where you are in bondage, serves as a key through which the Holy Spirit brings the Truth to life, and sets you free from the bondage that once held you captive!

It is a beautiful process:

~ Us battling bondage of: fear, pride, jealousy, etc.
~ God opening our eyes in His Word to: Who He is, what He has said and promised, who we are, and the hope we have.
~ God giving us faith to believe His Word
~ Freedom results

Recently the Lord gave a beautiful opportunity to serve Him where I faced and regularly had the temptation to feel pressure and fear.  In this situation, the Lord brought His Word to my heart, "I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand a keep you." (Isaiah 42:6) This brought refocus on Him, His Truth, and freedom of rest through both His presence and Word.  He wants to bring this freedom in every area and situation of your life.

3. Truth in Every Day Life - "If you abide in my word, you are truly my 
The Word of God is meant to saturate and impact every moment of your day - leading you more and more into the freedom that comes from living in the Truth of His Word! 
Colossians 3:16 tells us, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..." 

Let's look together at some ways we can live, abide, and soak in His Truth in a daily practical way:

~  Being in His Word - reading, studying, etc.
~  Having His Word in you - memorizing His Word, so you can think on it all of the time.
~  Being reminded of His Word through the day and week - reading, playing Bible on CD, speaking it to yourself, listening to sermons, singing songs filled with Truth.
~  Thinking intentionally about verses from the Bible and allowing the Lord to teach you from them
Sharing the Truth with others and allowing them to share with you - confirming it in both
of your hearts
~  Allowing the Lord to bring it to your heart through the day and all that you face - this is possible as you are reading the Word and have memorized it
Receiving God's grace and walking in the reality of His Truth - no matter how you feel - and experiencing His freedom

Right now, I am in a season where my health is struggling and I have seen the power of this so real in my daily circumstances.  If I focus on and base my attitude on how I am feeling, it results in becoming discouraged, sad, or even crabby (and who wants that?).  But, if I keep my focus on Jesus and the Word, feed my soul with Truth (verses like
Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."), and listen for Him to speak His Truth to me, my heart is flooded with joy, hope, peace, and purpose - causing me to embrace Him, His Word, and my current circumstance for His glory, my good, and blessing of others!

Look at your life with the Lord and identify at least one area in which you need to walk in His Truth and freedom.  Find a verse to memorize on that area, pray it to the Lord - asking Him for His help to walk in it, and receive His grace to walk in it each moment!

May the Lord pour out His richest blessings to you as you go as His disciple, abide in His Word, know the Truth, and watch Him work through it by His Spirit to set you free!

P.S.  Join us next Thursday for a session on "The Influence of Your Thoughts and Attitude" as we explore even more the power of allowing Truth to permeate your life!