Monday, January 30, 2012

Angels All Around Us

They're all above me
Beneath me
Before me
They're all around me
My Father's Angels all protect me everywhere ~ Bill & Gloria Gaither

Often our daughters sing this soft, comforting tune. Sometimes, closing their eyes and picturing their angels, sometimes heads bowed in gratitude. Sometimes, their joy in this truth revealed by the smiles adorning their precious faces. I am reminded that the Lord would not have us live in fear when these words ring forth. Such a simple principle...that our faith would far surpass our fear, yet, difficult to put into action, when we view the reality of our world.

Last week, God sent a huge reminder to our school. The children boarded their buses like any other day. Bus drivers waved goodbye and teachers smiled as they re-entered school after a long day. Not long after, a phone call would spark our administration into action. The driver on one of the buses had suffered a heart attack, leaving the bus unattended as it drifted into an intersection after being stopped at a red light. One of the high school students noticed the empty driver's seat. She left her own seat, approached the steering wheel, turned and applied the emergency brake, leading the bus to safety. Other older students gathered younger students and ushered them to the rear of the bus, as not to view the collapsed driver. They prayed together and remained calm as help arrived; the kind of calm that only God provides...the kind of calm that comes in the presence of angels who gather around a big yellow bus providing a hedge of protection that only God ordains.

"For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Psalm 91:11-12

In a worldly view, some may call this story good fortune. I cannot in good conscience underestimate the almighty power of a loving God who chose to employ His angels to keep some 30 students safe. The young lady who led that bus to the side of the road had just begun driver's other cars hit the bus...prayers were lifted...the students called the school and 911, articulating the events with great clarity and amazing composure...God gets the glory for the events that transpired. His protection was evident.

"He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber." Psalm 121:3

As a general rule, we probably do not know the extent to which we have been held so dearly in His grip. We know the angels surround us, protect us and obey the wave of His hand. Joshua 1:9 proclaims, "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Today, I pray you will accept the peace and protection of our God and His angels. They are as near to us as our breath is within us.

Thank you, Lord for the protection you provide. Thank you for sending your angels to keep us from harm. Keep us mindful of your promises and open to your strength and peace. Please, Lord keep those angels coming!Amen.

"He goes before us, follows behind us, and hems us safe inside the realm of His protection." ~ Beth Moore


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"But the Lord your God ye shall fear;
and He shall deliver you out of the 
hands of all your enemies"
(2 Kings 17:39)

It's funny how God can give you a Word that you already knew, but somehow just weren't putting it to practice. A Word that you may have heard before, but just didn't connect the dots correctly.

 The enemy, satan, has really been having a good time messing me with me lately. I have allowed him to play some mind games with me and convince me of some things that absolutely were not true.  Things that deep down I knew weren't true, but just let him convince me otherwise. He loves to tell us lies about ourselves to make us doubt what we know.  To make us focus on our unworthiness instead of on His Worth. 

In our quest of seeking a Higher plane with God, we must learn to recognize the devil's schemes and not allow him free reign on our property. God has given us so many promises in His Word that we can cling to. He has blessed us beyond measure and He wants us to have good things! It is time for us to stop the devil in his tracks. It's time that we take back from the devil what is rightfully ours. If we are ever going to grow in the Lord, we have to recognize who we are in Him. We are victorious through the power of God. Satan has no hold over us. Our God will deliver us from the hands of our enemies. The battle has already been won.

Thank you, Lord, for the power that you have given us over satan. Help us to remember who we are in You. Help us to recognize the schemes of our enemy. Help us to put our trust and our faith in You. May we continue to seek you and a higher, more intimate relationship. You are everything we could ever ask or imagine. You are God.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Building Character

Building Character

Character is our internal make-up. As I write this I’m also watching a special on quarterback Tom Brady called The Brady 6. We know Tom to be one of the greatest professional football players ever. How many of us know that he was a high school bench warmer for a team that didn’t win a game? He only began playing when the starting quarterback quit.
The NFL drafting reports said Brady lacked speed, strength, and the ability to avoid a rush. They also said he couldn’t throw a tight spiral Six quarterbacks were drafted ahead of him in 2000, and he was picked 199 overall. Not a very outstanding start. But there was something about him.

One thing that did not show up on the reports was Tom Brady’s heart. The scouts, coaches and team owners simply could not read, or thus comprehend, the drive Brady had to be the best quarterback ever.

Tom’s success as the general on the football field is not the result of native talent or skill. It is the result of internal make-up. Tom has great character in the game of football.

Great talent means he expends whatever time or energy it takes to improve his game. He practices harder than anyone. He treats each practice as an actual game. He puts pressure on himself that no one else does. He feels he has to win his starting spot everyday. So he works to become better, better, and even better.

The character Brady displays in athletics works in any and every field of endeavor. It certainly has application for us spiritually. Peter wrote, “Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ ... Therefore brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:5-10 (ESV)

What Peter is writing about is developing our character. God in his mercy and grace saves us. But we are called upon to grow in the grace we have been given. It is not a matter of earning our salvation. But it is a matter of developing our hearts, minds and bodies to reflect the nature of God’s very being. Peter identifies the nature of this character as faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. These are eight important internal traits of a person seeking to be all that God wants him to be. They are not a matter of skill or talent; they are a matter of applying ourselves diligently to be more Christ-like. These are not matters simply for the specially gifted; they are for all of us.

John Luther wrote, “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece - by thought, choice, courage and determination.” (Story’s for the Family’s Heart, 101). We develop the inner traits of character by how we think, the choices we make, the courage we develop to face and overcome our own weaknesses, and by determination to never give up on God or ourselves.

Every NFL team had numerous opportunities to pick Tom Brady in 2000, but it wasn’t until the 6th round, at draft number 199, that the New England Patriots announced, “We pick Tom Brady.” It would be two years before Tom had the opportunity to prove the true nature of his character to everyone. Today, after numerous NFL records and 3 Super Bowl rings, no one has any doubts.

Several college and NFL personalities were interviewed for the The Brady 6 special, including coaches who passed on picking Brady. One of them, former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, said about his teams failure to pick Tom, “We didn’t open up his chest and look at his heart.” Funny, because that is just what God does, because he knows that’s where he’ll find our character.

Warren Baldwin

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage - Honest Communication

We continue our series on igniting the fire in your marriage. Follow this link if you missed the first message in this series.

To ignite the fire in our marriages, we must pursue our spouses' hearts by making an effort to meet their needs.

My husband and I have had many rough patches in our marriage. There were times when I honestly didn't want to pursue his heart. If your marriage is at this point, don't give up hope. God can re-ignite a fire in your heart and change your desire for your spouse. Pray and ask God. He is faithful to change your heart.

In the meantime, do it on purpose, even though you don't feel like it. My husband once shared with his co-worker some of nice things I do for him. His co-worker retorted, "I wouldn't do that for my husband! I'm not his servant!" My husband responded that I enjoy doing those things for him, and he enjoys doing things for me as well.

Meeting our spouses' needs doesn't mean we become their slaves, giving them everything they want. Marriage is about giving and receiving. And just like financial giving, we have to sow in order to reap.

To meet our spouses' needs we need to communicate with them. "Honest" communication is vital for a healthy marriage. I emphasize the word "honest" because it won't do our marriages any good if we are communicating with our spouses, but not being completely honest.

Last week, my husband and I had a long, meaningful talk together. With having four children, it's often hard to find time alone to talk to each other. We hadn't had a long talk in awhile, and I felt a little wall slowly building up between us.

During our talk, we shared some things that we had been holding in, that bothered us about our relationship. We were able to talk about our needs and be honest with our feelings. As we were honest, we felt that wall come down and our hearts draw closer together.

My husband expressed how nice it was to be able to be honest with his feelings and struggles. In the past, he wasn't able to be honest with me, because I wasn't understanding. I would get angry when he shared anything I didn't like or agree with.

It's important to allow your spouse to be honest without judging them or taking offense. Give your spouse the freedom to be open with his struggles, needs, and desires. Pray and ask God to help you be compassionate. God was the only one who was able to change me. He can do the same for you.

Sometimes our spouses' needs may not be what we want to give them, but as long as their needs are fitting in the Lord, we should pursue to meet them.

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10, KJV

Come back in two weeks as the series continues...

*If you desire to have a godly marriage, order "You Can Have a Happy Family" on Amazon. It's lowered to only $8.04 for paperback and $5.99 for Kindle (free for prime members). I promise your marriage will be blessed!

Amanda Beth

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Expanding Your Territory

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! 1 Chronicles 4:10 

Have you ever prayed that God would increase your territory? No, I don't mean physical territory, but the space of your influence. God has given you a sphere of influence. It starts in your own home, then it goes out to your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Those around you see what you are doing, good or bad, and they judge your faith because of it.

Jabez prayed for more territory to increase his influence. Jesus also expects us to increase the territory of our influence. In Acts 1, he tells the disciples, "you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” He didn't expect them to only share his message in their local Jerusalem. No he expected them to carry it to the ends of the earth!

What are you doing to increase your influence for God? Volunteering locally at schools, churches or civic events can be your Jerusalem. Getting involved building houses for Habitat for Humanity or giving food to the food bank can be your Judea. Donations for Haiti relief or  donations to that missionary who visited your church literally spreads your territory to the ends of the earth!

What are you waiting for? Pray like Jabez, enlarge your territory and when you see the difference you can make for will be blessed!

I'm excited to share that on Friday I will be increasing my own territory, with a guest post at the blog of Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing. I'd love for you to visit me there Friday (1/20) at


Monday, January 16, 2012

Fixing What's Broken

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

So, here we are.

A new year.

Bright with promise, hope and anticipation of what God will do in each of our lives.

And perhaps...harboring an old wound, living with an unmended relationship or refusing to yield our own will to that of a loving God desiring to see healing and health.

My husband fixes things.

Recently he brought home a friend's cabinet that needed to be reduced in size. I could not see how that cabinet could ever be reduced in size and still yield the same beauty it possessed in it's original state. I wanted it just as it was, but the truth was that it could no longer function as it was. He sawed and removed, sanded, replaced...he worked hard. Running his hands over the smoothed out smaller version he sat back in satisfaction, knowing that it was now functional AND beautiful. It had changed, but for the better.

Sometimes relationships are like this. When we build a relationship, we build a union. Because these unions are made of imperfect people, it stands to reason that relationships sometimes go awry. Maybe it was a comment, an arguement or just a general falling away from each other that caused unhealth in a relationship. In our human state, we cannot always see how the relationship could be mended or repaired. We don't see it ever being functional again. But our Heavenly Father sees the beauty of investing ourselves in His plan and after careful prayer and consideration, if he is calling you to repair a relationship, act. Of this we can be sure, His tools are always ready.

Often, we allow ourselves to be stopped.


Pride,fear, anger...all of these cease our forward moving steps. Like our power tools unplugged, these joy-robbing deterrants stop the healing process. Billy Graham notes in his newest book, Nearing Home that this "stuck-in-the-mud" place can lead to regret, an even deeper wound.

As God's refining power rebuilds our hearts, allow the master of forgiveness to show you gently and with great love how to forgive others. Ask Him in prayer how to saw away bitterness and replace it with healing. Ask Him for discernment in your toolbelt, as to be sure of the right timing to extend grace and forgiveness. When we fix what is broken, we may not get the exact relationship that was once there, but soft hearts poised to healing will yield uncompromising joy.

Like prayer that is not answered the way we had hoped, not all relationships will be able to be reconciled. And some relationships are not meant to be repaired. The Lord will be our guide. However, if called to do so, approaching the other party with pure intentions and with love, we should always strive to live in peace.

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Friday, January 13, 2012

Goals - One Day at a Time


Goals are not so easy to meet. We want them to challenge us and improve our lives, but boy do they get in the way when things get busy.

Here are a few tips to help you (and me) reach our goals by the end of 2012:

1. Be realistic. Don't set goals so lofty you need a miracle to reach them.

2. Be prayerful. Once you have goals in mind, take them before the Lord.

3. Be specific. Be sure to write down the specific steps needed to reach those goals.

4. Be committed. Research has shown that people who actually read over their goals on a daily basis are 80-90% more likely to reach them, so get into the habit of reading them over daily.

5. Be flexible. By February, most of us will have missed it on at least one goal. Don't throw them all away, instead ask the Lord to give you fresh resolve and start fresh that day. You still have many more months to be faithful to reaching your goals.

6. Reward yourself. As you meet goals consistently, reward yourself. Buy a book you've been pining for, or go for a peaceful walk with the Lord, basking in His creation. Pat yourself on the back because you did it with His help!

"And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." Habakkuk 2:2


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

reflections on my week in Nicaragua

Are you seeking to have a more personal relationship with God? Are you seeking higher things in your spiritual life? Are you wanting more and more of your Savior?

Spend a week in a third world country and His grace and His majesty and His mercy and His power will be revealed to you in a new and bigger way. Spend a week without the 'conveniences' of America and you will find yourself more dependent upon the necessities of God. Spend a week with precious children that have a hunger for something more than food and you will have a much deeper appreciation of the abundance of our bibles and study books and availability of things that we can use to increase our knowledge of Him.

Our God has blessed us to the full. We have been given such a huge portion of His measure of Grace. He is so good and we are so lacking in our reverence and fear of Him. We need to push all our worldly possessions to the side and take a real close look at what is really important in our lives. 

When I boarded the plane in Managua, Nicaragua  yesterday afternoon, I was ready to get home to a good HOT bath, clean running water and the modern conveniences of home. When I landed in Jackson, MS to begin the 2 hour drive home, I was saddened at the thought of hot water and all those modern conveniences that we think are necessities. I was ready to go back to the land of simplicity. The land of depending on God for your comfort. The land of communing with Him and being satisfied with just Him...

Are you seeking a higher and more intimate relationship with God? Get back to the basics. Quit striving for more things and strive for more of the Lord. He is everything. He is all we need. He is.....


Friday, January 6, 2012

Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage

As I was getting ready to share the different needs men and women have, I was preparing a series on my other blog about igniting the fire in our Spirits. I thought that topic would be great to use for marriage as well. What better way to meet our spouses' needs than through a heart that is truly blazing for them.

Our hearts are usually on fire for the Lord, but not so much for our spouses. When in fact, we should be as excited being one with our spouses as we are being one with Christ.

After returning from our honeymoons, the blazing hearts we have for our spouses start to simmer down as life goes on. Once we start to have children, the fire that is left often gets extinguished as the kids take precedence over our relationships with our spouses.

But with God's help we can re-ignite that fire in our marriages and set our hearts blazing again for our spouses!

Igniting the fire doesn't mean we have to feel romantic toward our spouses 24/7. My husband and I have 4 children ages 2 to 10. With all the commotion in our home, we don't exactly have a lot of time for romance. Our kids are constantly active. A day doesn't go by where someone doesn't get hurt, something doesn't get broken or spilled, and a fight doesn't break out over a toy.

At the end of the day, when our kids are in bed, my husband and I don't break out the candles and wine and gaze into each others' eyes. Rather, we usually snuggle up together and then gaze at the inside of our eyelids while passing out in exhaustion.

But that doesn't mean we are not on fire for each other. Our fire is enjoying being with each other during the chaos life throws at us. Our fire is having a marriage filled with unconditional love. Our fire is trusting that no matter what happens, we will stand beside each other until death do us part.

I believe this is the type of fire in our marriages God desires for us—marriages that will continue blazing even through the storms in life.

I am doing this Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage series bi-weekly on Fridays for as many weeks as the Lord leads me. I believe this will be a powerful series that will ignite that fire in your heart, first for the Lord, and then for your spouse, so your marriage can stand strong through the storms in life.

Don't forget to come back on Friday 1/20 as the series continues. Until then, God bless!

Amanda Beth

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Size of Your Faith

I love the televisions specials at Christmas.  Frosty and Rudolph, A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story.  But my absolute favorite is Miracle on 34th Street.

My favorite line from the movie is "Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to."  Of course, that line was spoken in regard to Santa Claus.  But truly, isn't that what faith in God is about too?  The writer of Hebrews said something similar, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (11:1)

God calls on us to believe in him, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  This can be hard to do when the world tells us it's not true.  I love the quote from the man who Jesus questioned about his faith. "I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24) This man didn't speak platitudes of his great faith. No, he truthfully admitted he had doubts.  And Jesus healed the man's son.

It isn't always easy to have great faith. But Jesus says we can do great things if we only have the faith the size of a mustard seed.  So whatever your faith today, big or small, know that God can do great things in you. Keep believing. And God can make that tiny seed grow.