Monday, December 26, 2016

He Takes Away Our Sin...

"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

~John 1:29~

Behold the Lamb ~ By Amy Vest

Do you know how some reality captures your heart?

This Christmas my heart has been treasuring the wonder that Jesus came so that we could know Him.

What an inexpressible gift.

We were lost in our sin, separated from God, and headed for eternity apart from Him.

The God of the universe sent His Son to this earth to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross so we could know Him - and our lives could overflow with satisfaction in Him and glory to Him.

Isn't this amazing beyond words?

A verse that has been on my mind this season is,
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

This Lamb - Jesus - the perfect Son of God - coming to take away our sins.

This is what our Jesus came to do.

In trusting in and yielding to Him, our sins are washed away, we are given relationship with Him, and will live with Him forever.

From this point, we can go deeper to know Him as the One who "...satisfies the longing soul."  Psalm 107:9

This, my friend, is a reason to rejoice!

This is what we were created for.  This is our soul's deepest need.  This is where our hope lies.  This is where our joy is found.


This Christmas may your heart overflow with joy and worship as you behold the Lamb of God who came so that you could know Him - and find all that you ever need!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Looking to Jesus...

"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus..." 
                      Hebrews 12:1-2

Jesus: The Focus of Your Life ~ By Amy Vest

Where is your focus?

Stop and think about that, friend.

Where is your mind riveted, heart set, and mind directed?

You see where our focus lies is very

Focus = "a center of activity, attraction, or attention, a point of concentration, directed attention."

You were created to have Jesus as your focus.

When we lift the eyes of our heart to Jesus, our perspective changes - because Jesus changes everything.

Putting our focus on Jesus shows that we know that:
~ He is our only hope.
~ He alone can satisfy.
~ He is worthy of our trust and all that we are.

Listen to this amazing promise:

"Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed."  Psalm 34:5

Oh, friend, can you relate with me?

When I lift the eyes of my heart to Jesus - peace washes my soul, fulfillment floods my heart, and security fortifies my spirit.

This is the beautiful thing: 
When our eyes are on Jesus, the rest of our life is colored by the reality of all that He is.

As I walk through my day focused on Jesus and I face an overwhelming situation, I know that He is my help.  If I face weakness, He is my strength.  If I face pain, He is my comfort.  If I experience joy, He is my song.

I want to live a life that is riveted on Jesus, don't you?

I long for our life's cry to be "...our eyes are on You."  2 Chronicles 20:11

If you are like me, you can get distracted.  It is so easy to get our eyes on ourselves, circumstances, people, things... But these things are fleeting, empty, and can never deliver the satisfaction that only Jesus can bring.

I love how Jesus in His love will not allow our focus to drift for long.  He kindly brings reminders - whether in the form of joys or trials - that lift our eyes to Him.  As we regain our focus, His peace washes us once again.

We need to have our eyes fixed on Jesus in all of the seasons of life - because we need Him all of our life.

What are some ways we can fix our eyes on Jesus?
~ Choosing in our heart to direct our mind to Him.
~ Praying and asking for His help.
~ Being in the Word.
~ Memorizing and meditating on Scripture.
~ Worship.
~ Journaling about His faithfulness.
~ Gathering with friends who love Him.
~ Having reminders of His love.
~ and so many more!

The beauty of having our focus on Jesus has been powerfully real for me the past couple of weeks in different areas.  When my focus has been on other things, I found lack of peace.  But, when my eyes have been on Jesus, and considering those things with Him and in light of Him, there is inexpressible peace.

Jesus invites, calls, and equips us to live with Him as our focus, friend.

As He is our focus, our hope is never disappointed, our heart is fulfilled, our perspective is transformed, and our lives are lived differently in light of all that He is.

There is no time like this very second to lift our eyes to Jesus and find the transforming fulfillment of having Him as our focus!

Where is your focus today, friend?

May it be Jesus. 

"...let us run with endurance the race before us, looking to Jesus..."  Hebrews 12:1-2

Look to Jesus, friend.  You will find that He is all that you need.  I am looking with you.

Let's look to Jesus as the focus of our lives.

Beautiful to God Class Update ~ Sessions 5, 6 & 7

We have had such amazing times looking to Jesus together at the Beautiful to God Class the past 3 sessions!

Together we have looked at:

Session 5 - The Power of a Pure Heart: We looked at the motivation for purity being Matthew 5:8, the joy of Jesus purifying us, living from that purity in every area of life, and seeking to honor Him in our relationships with guys.

Session 6 - The Influence of Your Thoughts and Emotions:  We looked at God's Word being our Truth that we base our life upon, how we can get in the Truth and have it in us, and how to fight lies with Truth.

Session 7 - You are Perfectly Made by God:  We explored the beauty that all God does is an outflow of His character, the perfection of His plan, and the excitement of His individual plan for each of our lives as a part of the story for His glory!

Jesus is meeting us, working in our hearts, and deepening our vision to live the life He created us for in Him!

We are seeing more and more that Jesus is amazing and worthy of seeking with all that we are!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Journaling the Journey with Jesus ~ by Amy Vest

Journaling can be a powerful tool as we embrace the journey of joy with Jesus!

There are many forms of journaling - life, prayer, etc. and each of them can have so much value.

Today are going to focus on journaling our spiritual growth journey with Jesus.

Writing down what the Lord is doing in our lives can help us to identify, clarify, and testify the Lords work in our lives in a way that helps us grow in Him!

Let's look at 3 things journaling helps us to do:

1. Identify - Journaling helps me to stop and look at what the Lord is doing in my life.
Questions that can be helpful for me to ask as I journal include:
- What is Jesus doing in my life?
- What is a verse that has been especially meaningful?
- What is a lesson He is teaching me?
- What is a prayer on my heart?

2. Clarify - Writing down what the Lord is doing in me, teaching me, etc. helps me to clarify in my mind what He is doing.
Journaling can take me from saying, "The Lord is so at work in my life!" to "The Lord is so working in me to have a servant's heart by learning from His example."  Clarifying it helps me to be more attentive to living it out in my moment by moment life.

3. Testify - When I have just written down what the Lord is showing me, it is fresh on my mind to share with others.
It can naturally come up in conversation because you have identified and clarified it, so it is easy to share!

Keeping a journal can be an incredible blessing! 

Just today young women in my discipleship class were sharing how much journaling was helpful to them in their journey with Jesus.

I would encourage you to start a journal of your journey with Jesus!

I promise it will be a rich tool in your growth journey with Him - and a treasure to have for years to come!

" I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us..."  Isaiah 63:7

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Always a Reason to Rejoice ~ by Amy Vest

"Rejoice in the LORD always." ~ Philippians 4:4

What are you rejoicing in today?

As we approach Thanksgiving, our hearts are reminded to give thanks for all of God's blessings to us. This brings a sweet sense of God's provision as our Source and gratitude for all He has given.

It seems that rejoicing takes us a step deeper - from gratitude TO the Source for His gifts, to joy IN the Source - the Lord - as the Source of all true joy.

Rejoice means: "to feel or show that you are very happy about something, to give joy to, to feel joy or great delight."

I was thinking on Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the LORD always..." recently and noticed it calls us, yes, to rejoice, but that we are to rejoice in THE LORD.

We always have a reason to rejoice in Him - because He is always good.

He is:
Redemption for our souls
Hope our hearts need
Love our hearts crave
Peace that calms our souls
Joy that never ends
...and the list goes on and on.

Things, circumstances, and people all change, but Jesus never changes. These other things can be gifts that cause us to rejoice in the Giver, but He alone unchangingly satisfies.

We can even rejoice through hard trials, not because we like the trials themselves, but because we know and trust that the One Who is Love has a purpose that is much deeper. This purpose includes us coming to know Him more through everything we face in life and, as a result, rejoice more in Him!

Friends, we can rejoice in our Lord always - for He is forever good.

"Rejoice in the LORD always, I will say it again, rejoice." ~ Philippians 4:4

Will you allow Him to be your source of joy today?

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Journey of Joy ~ Mandy's Testimony

Please introduce yourself to us
My name is Mandy, and my husband and I live in Minnetonka, MN. I have been very happily married to Michael for 2.5 years. Currently, I am about to complete my masters degree in music. In the meantime, I also teach in the Music Department at a Christian college. In addition to music, some of my other interests include church history and travelling. A recent joy has also been helping my husband as he prepares to publish his first book!

How did you come to Jesus?

I had the great gift of being raised by parents who fear the Lord. At the age of four, I learned of my need for a Savior and responded to the message of the Gospel. I was then promptly baptized. Ever since that moment of salvation, God has never ceased drawing me closer to Himself. The longer I walk with Christ, the more I recognize my need for His sustaining grace.
How has the Lord faithfully worked by His grace to grow you in Him?

While I walked in the truth from a young age, it would be several years before I began to understand my deep need for daily dependence on Christ. One wintry morning in 2003, I woke up with debilitating pain in my lower back. Instead of getting better, the pain remained constant for days, which turned into months, which turned into years. During this period, I desperately cried out for God to give meaning to the pain I was experiencing. The promises from His Word assured me that He would never leave or forsake me. So I learned to cling very close to Him during this time. As a result, I tasted the realness and nearness of His presence as I couldn’t have previously understood. 

Thankfully, God eventually brought healing to my back. But He had more lessons to teach me in the form of chronic illness. When I was first diagnosed, I walked through some times of true struggle and emotional pain. As a result, I had to ask serious questions about everything I had believed about God and His Word. However, God, in His grace, was patient with me, and He brought me to a place of peace and stronger faith in Himself. As I look back, I am amazed at the riches of what God has taught me through my pain. He has given beauty for my ashes (Isaiah 61:3), and has proven Himself so faithful and joy-giving in all circumstances.

What are practical ways the Lord has given you to help you grow in Him?

When I was twelve years old, I started prayer journaling.  Each day I would write praises to God as well as confessions, thanksgiving, and prayers for supplication. Through this experience, I have kept track of God’s continual faithfulness to me in all areas of my life. It is such a blessing to look back at a written record of God’s sovereign hand in my life!

Also, the Lord has helped me to grow in Him through the area of mentorship. I am so blessed to have been mentored by some exemplary older Christians. These men and women have reached into my life with compassion and patience as they have taught me what it looks like to walk with Christ.

As I have gotten older, I have also developed a heart for discipling girls younger than myself. In particular, I really enjoy small-group ministry. As I teach others, I find that the Lord convicts and instructs my heart most of all.

Can you share 1 example of how the Lord is currently growing you in Him?

Right now, the Lord is teaching me the importance of "taking every thought captive" (2 Cor. 10:3). So often, I find myself “listening” to my own fears and emotions. Instead, I need to be “preaching” to myself. I need to constantly remind myself of God’s faithfulness in the past, and His promises for the future. Whenever I am successful in this area, I am filled with the joy and peace that only He can give.

Is there any additional encouragement you want to share with our readers?

It is so important to use your youth for God’s glory! When I was a teenage girl, I realized that the pursuit of Christ is very often a lonely road. However, it is so worth it! As I sought Christ, He became my closest friend and my deepest satisfaction. You will never regret using your youth to grow deeper in the knowledge and imitation of Christ.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Life-Changing Devotions ~ A Video Message from Amy

Please join us for this important message about the power of daily devotions in the life of a Christian! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Growing in Jesus ~ A Journey of Joy ~ by Amy Vest

Jesus is growing you, child of God.

When  you trust Him as your Lord and Savior, He redeems you, and He begins a beautiful work in you that He promises to complete.

Isn't this exciting? 

Listen to this beautiful promise:

"...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ..." (Philippians 1:6)

This is a beautiful thing.

Jesus is at work in you to grow you in Himself.

This journey of growth in Jesus is lifelong - bringing you into more of Him, His likeness, and the life He created you to live in Him.

Every day of our lives Jesus has more to give us and more to grow us.  Life becomes an endless opportunity to grow in knowing more of Jesus, growing in His likeness, and living more deeply in the life He created you to live.

This is a reason to get out of bed in the morning!

Lately I will often pray,
"Jesus, Thank You that You are all I need, that You are working in me, and that Your will for me is perfect!"

Oh, we can't afford to settle where we are - there is more of Jesus, His Truth, and His work in us to grow in every moment!  (Thankfully, Jesus loves us too much to leave us where we are.)

He is growing you for His glory, your joy, and the blessing of others.

We are going to look together at growing in Jesus as a journey of joy in the acrostic J-O-Y:

J - Jesus - He is doing the work - the beautiful, transforming work - in your heart, that spills out in your life.

" is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Phil. 2:13

We cannot transform ourselves and bring growth - Jesus alone can do that.  And He does.  He begins the work when He saves you, and we depend on Him the rest of our lives on this earth to work in us by His Holy Spirit. 

He beautifully works to grow us in knowing, becoming like, and living in Him.

The deeper He grows us, the greater our joy!

He is amazing!

This is the gift of growth that He offers us.

O - Our opportunity - You have the joy of embracing that work and growth by seeking for it, by depending on His grace, and by allowing Him to work in you.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." 1 Peter 3:18

While Jesus alone can bring the growth in us by His Holy Spirit, we are called to pursue it and allow Him to work in us. 

Some ways we can do this are: walking with Him each moment, spending time with Him in the Word and prayer, asking Him to work in us, responding to His working in our heart in obedience, repentance, etc., filling our minds and hearts with things that will help us grow in Jesus, and more! (A blog post later this month will give you more ideas!)

Let's pursue growth, friend!
Y - Your lifelong journey - It is a lifelong journey that He will continue every moment of this life and complete when you meet Him face-to-face. 

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."  Col. 2:6-7

Jesus is calling you to a moment-by-moment growth in Him - all the days of this life.  It is so helpful for me to remember that we will never be perfect this side of Heaven, but are called to be growing.  This allows us to live in the reality that we are needy of Jesus every moment, and He is everything we need, is giving us the grace we need, and is working in us!

The Lord is at work in all you face in life to grow you in Himself.  He knows what each one of us individually need for the greatest growth in our lives.  The happy times, the trials, the times of waiting... all of these are tools in the hand of the God Who loves you to give you what you need most - more of Him, His work in you, and the joy of living in His ways - to grow you in Him.

This overflows in His glory, your joy, and blessing to others.

It is an amazing journey of growth.

This Sunday I had some special time with Jesus to reflect with Him on the journey with Him so far - in all of life's joys and the trials - and rested in the sweet contentment of seeing that: He is all I need, His work growing me in Him is trustworthy, and that He will continue that work until I see Him face-to-face. 

This is His promise for all of us, dear friend.

Let's remember this beautiful promise:
"...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ..." Philippians 1:6

His working to grow you in Himself is proof that you are His, that He is God, and that He loves you.

May you be blessed as you walk today with Jesus and embrace the joy of His growing you in Him!

Beautiful to God Class ~ Session 4 ~ Your Identity in Christ ~ Photos and Update

We had a powerful time at the Beautiful to God class last week looking at the incredible reality of our identity in Christ!

The Lord met us and the time was filled with rejoicing in, looking at Scriptures about, and discussing the joy of our identity in Jesus!  What a matchless gift to be in Christ by salvation!  We had in incredible time looking at false identities we look to for value and at who JESUS says we are in Him.  It was life-changing.  We came away with a deeper passion for knowing it, living in the reality of it, and living from our identity in Jesus to fulfill God's call on our lives!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." ~ 2 Cor. 5:17

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Keeping Truth Before Your Eyes ~ Practical Application ~ by Amy Vest

I want transformation by the Truth to be a lifelong quest, don't you? 

In seeking to know Jesus and be transformed by His Truth, one of the ways I have found to be so helpful is to have Truth around, so it is in front of my eyes and helps me fix my mind on it through the day.
 I love to:
1) Surround myself with Truth - to help focus on and bring encouragement in Truth throughout the day.
2) Help myself memorize Truth - by keeping the Truth before my eyes.

So let's look at a few ideas:

1) Surrounding yourself with Truth - I have found this to be incredibly helpful.  This way as I look around during my day, God's Word is before my eyes - and my mind, and then soul, are filled with His Truth.

Here are a couple pictures from my room:

2) Memorizing the Word - As I seek to hide His Word in my heart, it is so helpful to keep it before my eyes.

Here is one of my current favorite ways to do this - by putting it on the side of my dresser so it is the first thing I see in the morning:

Writing a verse on a sticky note and placing it somewhere you will see it is also a fabulous help!

There are so many other ideas and ways you can surround yourself with Truth, too.  I encourage you to seek Jesus for ideas - and pick a verse and put it somewhere you will see it often!

Then as you see, think on, memorize, and allow the Holy Spirit to apply the Truth to your heart, you will see Him bring beautiful transformation!

I hope these practical ideas are helpful on your journey with Jesus and being transformed by Truth!  

" transformed by the renewal of your mind..." (Romans 12:2)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Life Transformed by Truth ~ Grace's Testimony

Please introduce yourself to us
I live in Minnesota with my mom and two brothers (one older, one younger), as well as several cats and my Siberian Husky. I love reading books, playing piano at home and at church, baking anything and everything, and being involved with my incredible church family. I am head-over-heels in love with JESUS and am so incredibly thankful to belong to such an amazing God! He has blessed me so richly, both with many joyful times as well as some difficult trials. But, He has used every one of these times to bring about the sweetest, richest, most unbelievable blessings I could ever imagine!

How did you come to Jesus?
I have known who Jesus is for virtually my whole life. And for a while I thought I was saved when I was really young. But, as I look back over the years, I don’t see any outward evidence that I had truly committed my life to the Lord. So I don’t think I truly became a child of God until I was around eleven or twelve. Around this time, I remember struggling with understanding what it really means to “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31). For a long time, I thought this simply meant possessing a mental knowledge of who Jesus is and what He has done. But by God’s grace, I came to realize that actually belonging to Him is completely different than merely believing in Him. It was around this same time that I really started to dig into my Bible to find answers to my questions about salvation. And I found something utterly priceless: I found the Truth - Jesus Himself. In His Word, I learned that to believe in Jesus meant that you trust Him to save you from your sins, give your life to Him, and love Him more than anything else, that you long to please Him in all you do, that you are grieved by sin, and that you strive to be like Him!  It is a total transformation of the heart!
How has the Lord used His Truth to transform your mind, heart, and life?
His Truth is so powerful, and I am continually being conformed to the image of Christ! The longer HE reigns in my heart, the more fully He sanctifies my life and makes me more like Jesus. By studying His Word and filling myself with His Truth, I am able to go from living a life of sin to one of holiness and righteousness. By His grace and by living according to His Word, I can live each day and look to the days ahead with joy and hope, with my eyes blissfully fixed on Jesus!

What are practical ways you are in the Word and have the Word in you?
This is definitely an ongoing process! I am continually learning about new ways to be saturated with the Word. So I will just share a few of the ways in which He has helped me to treasure the Scriptures:
Daily devotionsI know this seems like a simple answer, but it is so huge! Having a dedicated time with Jesus each day has definitely been the biggest way that the Lord has helped me to hide His Word in my heart. Along with this, a huge blessing has been to keep an accountability partner—one who has come alongside me and encouraged me to keep pressing on toward Jesus, keep going back to the Word, and making sure to spend that sweet, daily time with my Savior.
Be Surrounded with ScriptureI love to surround myself with anything and everything that speaks of Jesus! Right now, I can look up from my bed and see Proverbs 3:5-6 on my bedside table; Romans 8:28 and Psalm 139:23-24 on my bookcase; a daily calendar of Psalms next to my bed; and a board crowded with verses scribbled on post-it notes, index cards, and random scraps of paper, as well as a list of verses on the Lord as our Guide, and other things like this! I’ve come to the conclusion that you cannot have too much Scripture around yourself!
Keep a journalAlthough I am not a huge journaling person, I do keep a daily journal, in which I write out thoughts, prayers (often straight out of Scripture!) and special verses that have stuck out during my devotions. I love being able to carry a special verse or two with me throughout the day! I have also been slowly filling up another journal with Scripture based on topics. So, for example, I have a page on “Steadfastness” that is completely covered with every verse I’ve read so far that deals with being steadfast in the Lord. It has been such a blessing to be able to find encouragement and be reminded of Truth when I am in need of wisdom, grace, peace, or anything else!
Verse cardsA few years ago, I wrote out a few meaningful verses on small, pretty pieces of paper. I did this so I could keep His Word with me at all times, especially during the times when I was feeling frightened or anxious—like before a doctor appointment or a big speech at school. In those times, I was so overwhelmed that I struggled to remember the verses I had just read. So this was a simple way that I could find strength in His Word, no matter the circumstance! As a side note, the particular verses that I chose included Deuteronomy 31:8, Job 42:2, excerpts from Psalm 95 and 37, and Isaiah 40:28-31. I have become so familiarized with these passages after reading them so many times, that I don’t even need the cards anymore. They are truly written on my heart!

Can you share one example of how the Lord recently used a verse to change you and your life?
My mom and I have been going through a study on the book of Esther. I have read this book many times, and every single time I uncover sweet truth and hidden gems. That is the beauty of reading a book written by the King of kings! This time through, the Lord brought to light a particularly precious truth: that even during the most difficult times, He is deeply at work within us and in our circumstances. It didn’t just “happen” to be that Esther was born outwardly beautiful, that her parents died and she was raised by her uncle, that she pleased the king and received his favor, etc. He was working out a unique and beautiful plan! In Esther 4:14 Mordecai says to Esther, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” Through this verse, the Lord really impressed on my heart that everything that happens in life, every “good” or “bad” situation, has ultimately been brought about by God and for God. I think truth this touched me so deeply because of some difficult circumstances in my own life. There were so many times this past year where I have gone to Jesus (often in tears) and begged circumstances to change, because they were just so painful and hard to endure. But, praise the Lord, He did not see fit to change anything. For He had a different plan in mind, one that is far greater than anything I could ever imagine. I don’t need to wait for something to change, for life to get “better” before I live fully for God! THIS is the life He has given me, with all its joys and struggles, so THIS is the life I must choose to live out for Him each day. It is completely incomprehensible to consider that the Living God has tailored a special life for me. What a precious gift!!!
Is there any additional encouragement you want to share with our readers?
Any advice I would give you, dear friends in Christ, I give to myself as well! So I will just echo to you what the Lord is continually teaching me: Do not grow weary of reading His Word, but continue to fill yourself up (even to overflowing!) with the Living Water you find within its pages. Do not be daunted at the prospect of how much you still need to learn, but let this blessed knowledge drive you to soak up every little drop of truth you can uncover. May you go forth today with the written Word of the Living God in your heart. May you continually turn to Jesus Christ and fervently pursue His example with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The "Beautiful to God" Class ~ Session 3 ~ "The Importance of Inner Beauty" ~ Photos and Report

We had such a beautiful time at the Beautiful to God Class this week looking at the importance of inner beauty and keys to developing inner beauty!

Together we saw the Lord's incredible plan for beauty - the life of Jesus filling and radiating from a heart - and looked at ways we can allow the Lord to fill us with His beauty!

We had a meaningful session, powerful discussion, sweet prayer time, good fellowship, and a great time memorizing 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

We long to grow in this true beauty as Jesus lives in and through our lives for His glory, our joy, and the blessing of others!

God's Word is Truth...

"...your word is truth..." 
~ John 17:17 ~

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Summer Devotions Pursuit Testimonies!

Below are some of your powerful Summer Devotions Pursuit testimonies! We were so blessed receiving testimonies of what the Lord did in your hearts as you spent time with Him this summer and wanted to share some.  He is amazing!  (For those of you who mailed in your charts, your reward packages should be arriving soon!)  May Jesus bless you as you continue to seek Him - He truly is the greatest Reward!

"I am really glad I did the Summer Pursuit again this year.  I have grown closer to God and have learned a lot."  ~ Madisen B. of MN

"I feel after doing Summer Pursuit my faith and love for God has strengthened and grown.  This has been a great summer of blessings from the Lord.  I am so glad I was able to do Summer Pursuit this year."  ~ Rebekah R. of NE

"This summer the Lord has brought me close to Himself and taught me so much!  It was truly a blessing to learn about the depth of His love.  The Lord has taught me abundantly this year!  Thank you for this opportunity!"  ~ Gabriella I. of MN
"This summer of devotions has been great!  I’ve learned so much and grown.  I feel like God used this summer to help me have a stronger relationship with Him.  At times, I had my doubts about whether or not to continue doing the chart and when God intervened and took hold of my thoughts, everything I read seemed to be so rich.  I love doing this chart during the summer to have that reminder in the midst of the busy summer to spend time with Him."  ~ Miranda B. of MN

"This summer God showed me how much I need Him and what His death truly means to me, that I stand “…to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Col. 1:22) holy before Him.  He always goes to the heart of the matter too.  He also knows me better than I know myself, I learned a lot about submitting my will to His, He has the big plan/picture in mind.  Also learning to fear Him, my relationship is always changing/growing with my Father."  ~ Jasmine J. of Alberta

"The Summer Pursuit was amazing!  When I first heard about it from a friend I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do it.  But I thought it might give me some good accountability so I started in.  The first few weeks were fun and easy.  I was so excited and often went past the 15 min.  And then it got a little harder.  There were many days I’d wake up just completely not wanting to do my quiet time.  But because of this I’d persevere, do it, and find joy in His presence.  And then our 3 week trip came and that was some of the hardest days to do it.  There were many days that were busy and full of traveling and seeing family.  But because of this I tried my best to do it and was always thankful when I did.  My heart has definitely drawn closer to God through this summer!  Thank you so much for putting this on!"  ~ Hannah E. of FL

"This entire summer has been enriched by my devoted and consistent Bible reading, thanks to this worthy pursuit.  Being “forced” to spend time with Jesus has helped strengthen my relationship with Him as well as pointing out areas in my life that needed to change.  I was also so much more diligent to memorize God’s Word.  I now have all of Philippians 2, Psalm 23 & 46, and more hidden in my heart forever!  God also worked in my life through my telephone talks with Hannah.  We both were encouraged to find similar areas of struggling which we now work together to fix in a God-honoring way.  Thank you for aiding me in my walk with Christ."  ~ Hosanna K. of KY

"It has helped me a lot I did this last year and it was great.  It motivated me to read every day.  And after it was over I read maybe 1 chapter a day.  This helps me to spend more time because I am being kept accountable.  Keep up the great work.  And remember “the best reward is knowing Jesus”.'  ~ Maria M. of MN