Author Archives: Amanda

About Amanda

I love to encourage others to grow in love for God through writing and song.

How to Truly Live the Christian Life

The Christian life is often very busy, isn’t it? Activity after activity fills the calendars of churches and the agendas of our lives. It can sometimes seem to gravitate to more and more doing, serving and doing some more.

Even our times of prayer–whether together or alone–can veer off from proper focus. For example, instead of first asking the Lord what He might want us to pray, we launch straight away into prayer based on what comes to our minds or is gnawing at our hearts.

Our activities are not necessarily bad in and of themselves. They can, however, help or hinder our Christian life.

The key to knowing whether they are helping or hindering is what or who are we connected to as we do these activities. Are we engaging in activities that truly build our relationship with Jesus and living for His glory?

Everything in our lives as Christians should flow from the intimate place of partnership and communion with Jesus, not the other way around. He is not only our Savior but our Lord and we want to seek His heart and thoughts rather than doing our own thing. We can’t come to know Him or His will if we do not make time to know and hear His voice, being in His Word and allowing His Spirit to lead all of our lives.

Relationship with God and loving Him must be first place in our lives, even when it comes to all else that relates to our sanctification and furthering His Kingdom.

We want to make our first aim to build friendship with Jesus above all. God alone is the source from which everything else in our life as a Christian flows. Without Him, we cannot truly bear good fruit or choose to live out godliness to the full. In John 15:4-5, Jesus says:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (NASB)

Imagine this: You’re married. You love your spouse and do lots and lots of stuff for them; however, you never stop and ask them what they actually would like or you don’t actually do life together in partnership as one. You would both be living your lives, but not in a very connected way like a branch would be connected to its vine. How would that work for years of marriage? You probably get the picture now.

Friendship with God is far more than simply checking things off our “good Christian” list. He is our Creator who is Father, Savior and the Lover of our souls. We are called children of God, the Bride of Christ, not workers but lovers. In this, we are invited to learn from Him. He invites us to walk out our lives in partnership with Him as our Head or Leader, teaching us in His ways of life and love.

“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42 NASB, emphasis added)

As those who have taken His name–Christian–when we made Him our personal Savior and Lord, we should desire to know Him more and do life His way. We need this time to learn how to live in step with His Spirit in our day-to-day lives. This is the “good part” that Jesus speaks of to Mary.

Without attempting to cause you confusion: Mary actually was doing an activity. However, this activity was one of relationship-building and discipleship. She was investing in her relationship with Jesus, to know Him and His ways as she took time away from other activities to listen to His Word.

Like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, there are certain activities we can engage in to help build our relationship with Jesus. Just as a husband and wife would talk together to grow closer and know what is on each others’ hearts, we are called to know our King. We are called to be disciples of Christ, positioned just as Mary was to partake of His instructions in the context of relationship with Him. (Is this new to you? For more on what it means to be a disciple of Christ, read this excellent article by Phylicia Masonheimer.)

Several of these relationship-building activities include spiritual disciplines such as:

Solitude: We draw near to Him by drawing away from other people and activities for a time to be alone with Him and engage in one of the other spiritual disciplines outlined below.

Silence, Listening and Prayer: We quiet our hearts in a time of silence to seek what He would say. We put our own requests aside to first start by asking Him what is on His heart for us or others, whether for us to rest in His love, to pray for ourselves or others as He leads, or repent for something His Spirit convicts us of.

Worship: We speak or sing to Him our “thank You’s” for giving His life for us, for caring for us, providing for us, healing us, etc. We sing praises and sing His Word to Him, as prayers or over ourselves to help our minds be renewed to think like He thinks.

Bible Study: We read our Bibles and ask the Holy Spirit to grow our relationship with God as we read His words to us. We ask Him questions about His Word and journal the impressions we receive from Him. We ask Him to use the Scriptures to renew our minds and show us the heart and character of Jesus so we can be transformed into His image.

Fasting: We fast a meal and instead use the extra time to spend with Him. Or we take a break from entertainment, social media or our phones and dedicate that time to Him.

Obedience and Service: We respond to the things He has spoken to us through His Word and by His Spirit–not because we have to but because of His love for us and ours for Him, obeying as He leads and serving others in partnership with Him.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much of a priority do I give knowing Jesus in my daily life?
  • When was the last time I pulled away from all the “stuff” and simply loved on Him with no other agenda?
  • When was the last time I set aside my own requests, quieted my thoughts (even moving my phone to another room on silent) to see what He wanted to speak?
  • When was the last time I read my Bible and studied Jesus’ words with the help of His Holy Spirit?

Make it your aim to grow your relationship with Jesus as your first goal in this life, growing in intimacy with Him and learning to walk in His ways. From that place alone, let all other activity flow.

Update 01-28-19: February Is an Eventful Month for the Prayer Room!

February is an exciting month for FHOP’s Prayer Room!

Recently we hosted an opening reception for The Prayer Room. The reception was a joyful event. The gathering included worship, prayer, food and the dedication of the prayer room, reading from 2 Chronicles 5:11-14. We were slated to meet from 7:00-9:00pm, yet ended up worshiping for over four hours!

Our FHOP Team led worship as well as others from around the region. We were excited to see some of the teens and twenty-somethings join us by leading worship sets of their own.

(that’s me on keys!)

We were greatly blessed by the number of people who came. Six counties in our region were represented. Folks who had never experienced a prayer room atmosphere with worship were blessed by the experience. Others asked if we were going to have gatherings like this every Friday!

Additional Prayer Room Hours

Starting Monday, February 4, 2019, we are open for an additional two hours weekly from 12:00-2:00pm, with the aim to eventually expand to four hours every Monday. This is in addition to Thursdays from 7:00-9:00pm, and our “family gathering” weekly on Sundays at 2:00pm for those who consider FHOP their main spiritual family.

Our prayer is for God to bring more volunteers to serve (prayer and worship leaders, worship teams and musicians) so that we can expand these hours in the Prayer Room even more.

Introducing Fountain of Hope Ministry!

Also in February, our pastor leaders are launching a prayer support group called Fountain of Hope for loved ones of those in addictions, meeting in one of the rooms at the Prayer Room. The group will begin meeting every other Tuesday from 7:00-8:00pm starting February 19, 2019.

The mission of Fountain of Hope is to bring hope and encouragement to these family members through God’s Word and provide them with prayer support. You can learn more here.

In Everything, Be Still

Choosing to be still is often our wisest response in difficult situations.

Perhaps a loved one is in dire need and you can only do so much, be still and know that He is God. Pray and trust Him to lead you and care for them.

Maybe you are facing rejection or misunderstanding. Trust in His love to satisfy your aching heart. Rest in His presence and let His love bring healing.

Often we face the pressures of others as well. Most of all we need God’s guidance and strength. Being still and seeking His leadership help us know how to respond. We want to do our part, but sometimes the expectations of others do not agree with what God is leading us to do.

Most of us have learned that we cannot make things happen, so striving and stressing over things is fruitless. We only waste our already limited human energy, or give our emotions and flesh allowances to overwhelm us.

In all these things and more, the life-giving words of Jesus remind us to do things differently. Time and again He beckons us to wait, trust and be still. Below are several verses to take to heart:

“The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.” Exodus 14:14

“…in returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength…Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)

“Trust [rely on and have confidence] in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and feed [securely] on His faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.Psalm 37:3-4

“Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.Psalm 37:7

“Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

If He shall be exalted among the nations, how much more in the things of our lives? Rest and be still. Turn it all into His hands. Obey and follow as He leads, otherwise be still in the waiting and trust His ability to take care of it all.

Truly it is easier said than done; nonetheless, the Holy Spirit will strengthen, comfort and counsel us if we ask Him and take time to be still in His presence. He will help us be patient, hopeful and steadfast in our trials, heartaches and challenges.

The Lord beckons us to trust and remember that He is fully good. He longs for us to let go and let Him work as we wait on Him in quiet confidence. We can trust in His promises that our strength will be renewed as we wait on Him (Isaiah 40:31) and that His love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Rest, trust and cast every care upon Him who cares for you deeply. Let Him refresh and revive your needy heart.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (AMP)

Let Him be God, and take your mind off the burdens and needs. Let Him saturate you in His love and the truth that He is a good Father working on behalf of His beloved. He is faithful!

If you want to see all the Scriptures mentioned in this post altogether, visit this page. (Scriptures are from Amplified Bible unless otherwise noted.)

Update 10-12-18: New Space, Sunday Gatherings and The Prayer Room!

I’m so excited about what is happening at The Father’s House of Prayer, one of the ministries where I serve as a prayer missionary and worship leader.

A New Meeting Space!

After five months of meeting in homes and then in a store for seven months, God has opened the door for us to have our own space again.

Our new space is a second floor space downtown. This is where we felt God wanted us for a long time, but there were some roadblocks along the way which hindered us. We are so grateful the Lord has now made a way for us downtown to serve and bless our community through prayer, worship and more!

Something beautiful awaited us at our new location: The window above the door is etched with a lyric written by Mozart, which is based on Psalm 46:1:

“God is our refuge, our refuge and strength…”

This quote was there before we came; we aren’t sure when or who scribed it there. Nonetheless, it is apparent God had already marked this space to be used for His purposes. God told FHOP–not at all by coincidence–we would be His refuge from the storm for those who come, and here is this very prophetic word written over our new space!

The new space is named “The Prayer Room” and we began meeting there in September.

Sunday Gatherings

Starting 10/14, our weekly gatherings will meet on Sundays at 2:00PM. As a house of prayer rather than a traditional church, we want to honor our local churches by choosing a time that does not conflict with morning church services to foster unity in the Body of Christ.

For the past year we met on Thursdays instead; however, being a weekday evening, this was difficult for most. We also have many–including myself and my husband–who consider FHOP our spiritual family and have schedules that do not allow us time to attend other services each week.

This gathering will serve as a time for our FHOP family to grow in community and discipleship, to pray for one another and to be equipped as the Body of Christ.

We will still meet on Thursdays at 7:00PM as well with one difference: This gathering will become a time of prayer and worship for our community and any who desire to come.

The Prayer Room

Our new space will specifically be designed as a place for believers in our community to unite in worship and prayer. In coming months, we will set a regular schedule for The Prayer Room.

The purpose of The Prayer Room is three-fold:

  • To provide a place set apart to exalt Jesus in worship.
  • To join believers in God’s love and purpose–regardless of church or denomination–unto the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer for the unity of believers with God and each other (John 17:20-26).
  • To partner actively with God in prayer for His will to be done in our lives and our communities.

Partner With Us

FHOP will soon have giving financially available through the website and mobile devices. We ask for your prayers that God would lead people to partner with us financially so we can fulfill our God-given assignments without hindrance, especially in providing this new giving opportunity.

Join in praying with us for God to bring all those He wants to join in what He is doing in The Prayer Room. Please continue to pray for the work of God’s Kingdom through us in the midst of these exciting happenings.

To read more about FHOP, our mission, location, schedule, etc., visit FHOP’s website.


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God’s Answer When We Feel Nothing

Perhaps you’ve experienced seasons where you were feeling little or nothing at all. You may even feel this way now: numb, empty, wondering why.

Maybe this is simply while spending time in God’s presence. Or it could be what you feel most of the time, in every situation. I’ve personally been in such a season recently. Emotions have not been felt as deeply—especially the positive ones such as joy, excitement and enthusiasm.

This has bothered me because—even in this trying season—there is still plenty to be joyful or excited about! New things are on the horizon for our house of prayer; promises we have long awaited are being fulfilled. And when events worth celebrating happen, we all want to share in the excitement, don’t we?

In response, God recently brought a life-altering revelation. I knew that this was something others also needed to hear because this revelation came with the potential to greatly change our perspectives, and even increase our pursuit of His heart.

God’s Answer

Be encouraged, beloved, God has an answer that might just be for you right now.

God impressed upon my heart that feeling nothing can be a good thing. Instead of causing discouragement, a lack of emotion is like a clear canvas awaiting a masterpiece. It is an opportunity that holds great possibilities!

Upon the very canvas of our souls, God can paint our souls with His own emotions and thoughts. All we need to do is ask Him what He is feeling and thinking, and to allow us to feel these emotions as well.

What a beautiful thing! His excitement, delight and other emotions about us and the events of our lives are far deeper, fuller and more alive than any human feelings we could ever have!

Perhaps this is why God allows us to experience seasons where we do not feel as deeply if at all. Now, if we are open to it, He can give us something higher instead–His own thoughts and feelings, His very heart.

My perspective has shifted completely and I pray this revelation shifts yours as you read this. Is this not yet another way He turns ashes to beauty? Our Abba is beyond amazing.

“…He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair…” Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)