Ellenbrook- A day of Rest & Connection before it all begins!:)

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10/17/13- A full night of sleep!!!:) Might be my first this trip!:) Rare, but it’s been planned that there’s no speaking and/ or singing today- Only time with all the precious people.
Anne and Jeff…Time on Skype with Clint- they got to meet him and his words to me were, “Amy, take care of them!:)” One can’t help but love them, their authentic love and relentless service to The Lord!:) Jeff just got word that his sycoma cancer is gone from His body!!:) Praise YOU Lord!:)

Watched the news of America- Govt shutdown coming to an end and describing to them the realities of America, our heritage, our current state outside of what they heard through media alone.

Tons of laughter and hearing stories of all that Gods been bringing together for His work during the time Im here- Unprecedented!:) Anne and I had a precious time- I played a song on the piano, and then we talked of the presence of God and her family story and Gods revelations to us of Himself and His power- Many tears ensued. Precious!! Why would we ever think there was something that God couldn’t do?:)

Tea (a constant here- I love it- Just an excuse at any time of the day for people to gather around and talk!:) – instant friends with many Micah- born since I was here last!:)

Lunch- Chose a soup that was delightfully fragrant and spicy- Note to self…red pieces are not just for presentation & color. ๐Ÿ™‚
Hours on the couch with the Pastor and his wife (Aash and Louise and Micah)- Amazing how I feel so dearly close to them- God has united our hearts!:) The conversation is seriously some of the most honest and deeply rooted thoughts and contemplations…I never got tired throughout the time with them!:) there were times when I felt God would highlight things- as if they were roads He wanted us to walk down…lessons He wanted us to speak into each other’s lives. Priceless times with the Body alive…

Dinner with Everyone, and I decided to stay home instead of going to worship practice- Wisdom. I retired early…I wonder if God wants to get me up early to study?:)

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Springwood…God is at work!:)

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To say that God started this time off with a bang is an understatement! Sunday, October 13. What a Sunday! To those friends who prayed that God would provide something for that Sunday, God listens to your prayers!:)
I did get to speak on Sunday morning not the full service, and I was shocked that my voice actually was all there even though I had been sick before my arrival to Australia and I woke up at 2:45 in the morning and would have to “be on” until 10 o’clock that night! Never felt better!

The people have completely captured my heart! Their fresh perspective towards the gospel, their steadfast faith, endurance and patience with those that are just seeking answers in the process of coming to God, and their honesty in all areas including their personal lives โ€“ not to mention the witty sense of humor that seems to have no bounds โ€“ has been so refreshing and endearing! I’m learning a whole new Aussie language too- A bit of unexpected entertainment for them! A ripe and yet difficult mission field without a Christian heritage and with many unchurched.
Sunday Night…God moved mightily!. During the morning service I felt like The Lord was laying on my heart, “Amy are you ready- Tonight it starts… Lets do this!” It was like he was getting my heart right with him as I was confessing my sins and he gently prepared my heart! Honestly, it was awesome! That morning he laid on my heart what I was to speak on that night I thought. However after spending a delightful lunch with the pastor and his family who are now friends for life, I felt that he let me in a little bit of a different way! It was so clear to me what I was to speak on, almost like God had ordained it long before I ever got to Australia?:)

The group gathered was quite large for their Sunday night gathering filled with lots of teens and young adults โ€“ my heart was pumped! The worship was powerful โ€“ mostly Hillsong songs! ๐Ÿ™‚ Amazing how God worshiper around the world even use the same songs โ€“ what a blessing! I stood up in the darkroom on the stage with all the lights and it felt like I already knew the people! I started right in with hardly no introduction. The pastor had warned me that when Australians are gripped and the words are having effect their response is usually to get very silent. I felt like I could have heard a pin drop the entire night! The passages God took me to were actually Joshua and then the Samaritan woman, which I had never really spoken on before! He led the entire time. I ended with a song and a quote from Spurgeon on how Great our Savior is!:) However before I left the pulpit, It was almost like my heart couldn’t leave without one last challenge that this not become one more speaker, and just another night…but that God would be allowed to change them. It was not evangelistic persay…However, afterwards the amount of people that came up to pray and speak to me proved that God has powerfully done the work we had asked Him to and had spoken the words to their hearts…sometimes more than just what I thought came from my lips. Three people in particular came to know Him that I personally got to lead through the gospel. I believe one was at 6:24, one was at 7:24, another at 7:41- The time that three precious people passed from death to life!!! I wish I could tell you their stories, but they aren’t mine to tell. They would weep confessing their sins…brokenness. God was already showing His power at work in their lives!:) I was there talking to people till at least 3 hrs after, and yet really felt like had the night been longer more might have come to Christ, but God loves them and won’t let them go!:) When people come up and say, “Im the one you were talking about Amy”…it’s hard not to cry right there in front of them- God knew, God called, God spoke, God moved.

THEN, The believers who’s lives were changed that night- the stories I heard…Powerful!!! “Amy, Thankyou for coming!”- gets me every time! How big is our faith?? May we pray for Him to do His work more fervently!!!! To God be the glory!!:) I speak again for a women’s event in a couple of hours…expecting great things from a great God…I gotta be honest, Im a little nervous of getting in the way of our Holy God and what He wants to do…Heading to study so that He will have more in my reservoir to give to them!!:) I love these people!!:)

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BRISBANE…All begins tomorrow!:)

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Well, here I go!:) I finally landed this evening into the Brisbane International Airport! Job took me to a penthouse suite over-looking Southbend and the downtown city!:) Its as if God just laid on my heart, “Amy, will this due for you to study?:)” Literally, I needed a place to study!!!! People were praying for this!:) Some believers were out of town and offered me their place! I wanted to almost cry- What a blessing!! Everything starts tomorrow when they come to pick me up at 7:00AM…Im at a restuarant getting wi-fi for now and falling asleep on jetleg- Ha!!:) If you only knew how many times I’ve had to re-text that last statement!:)

So much more to tell…like how I asked where New South Wales was today- they broke down in laughter- “Amy, you are here in New South Wales!:)” Then I asked when I got to Brisbane what Southbend Parklands was…He answered, “It’s a park!:)” God surely does delight in using the weak things of this world for His glory…like me!!:) (extremely directionally challenged to say the least among other things!!:)

So thankful that I’ve made it to Brisbane…Let the Prayers for God to direct me in Speaking begin….First speaking even In Brisbane starts early tomorrow morning!:)

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The Australia Tour 2013 Begins: SYDNEY, Australia

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5:37 PM BLOG: Arrived after over 30 hrs. In transit and 27 at least in flight!:) God allowed me to meet and tell several people on the flights about Him- what a priviledge!:) One man was heading to Macau, China for his 140+ bungee jump- He was 79 years old!:)

SYDNEY- Afternoon of the 11th and morning of the 12th. A new friend Tommy & Joy Argow a long time Aussie friend showed me around the beautiful city!:) Before Joy could arrive Tommy took me around for a tourist afternoon- World Famous Opera House, Darling Harbor, Walked over the Harbor Bridge and for some delightful Japanese food!:) Seriously it was unbelievably relaxing and a wonderfully enjoyable time before the speaking would begin…think Jet lag might be over!:) Oh, and Americans are easy to pick out because we wear tennis-shoes with our jeans…Ha!:) A street performer pulled me out of a big crowd and knew I was an American…he had them all applaud for America- very friendly people here!:)
My flight to Brisbane was literally cancelled giving me a couple more hours with these precious friends before I was finally able to fly at 4:50 pm!:) I really am still finding it difficult to believe that God has brought me back here!:) Praise YOU Jesus!!:)

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My prayer from my personal journal as I leave for Australia

Im on my flight to Shanghai…in transit to Australia!:) My request Lord, is that You will miraculously prepare me…Not just to speak, but motivate, invade, move, caress my heart, tell me new things I haven’t yet learned of You- Revitalize my walk with You to be one of completely devoted seeker and follower! I plan on getting some of the details done so that I will be then able to only study…literally reading books of the Bible and studying day by night by day again- Flights, everything!:) Lord, amazingly, my heart feels refreshed and my spirit feels Your presence thought I know how underserving I am of You anywhere close to the vicinity of earth for my being on it…compared to Your perfection and holiness…Yet, regardless of man’s “deserving mentality” and finite logic…Your love for us brought You to us and Love conquered what would have been our “regardless” reality! Thank YOU, Jesus for debasing Yourself In comparatively worthless human flesh to be made in the likeness of what You considered of worth…and even worthy of not only the mark of ownership but worthy of taking on Your workmanship- even to the extent of Your image and likeness. Father what unworthiness fills my being yet the waterfall of grace floods my soul causing a tsunami of gratitude for the breath of something far from our knowledge of reality…a Greatness, A Love…an unimaginable Great Salvation!! I’m overtaken by more than my mind can comprehend or my heart can bear to feel…Oct. 9, 2013

2013 Australia…

Lord Jesus, I head off today for Australia. I can’t believe that You have allowed me this opportunity…I can’t believe the work that You are confirming You want to and WILL do while Im here…despite me!:) Oh Father, Your grace is amazing!!:) Thank You for Clint’s unwavering support of me going…and doing as You have led and opened the doors for!!:) We love You Father!:) May Your name be known and Your will be done- Let Your Spirit work in ways I don’t even know how to pray for!:) I love You Jesus!:) Draw me closer to YOU too Lord! Never let me never speak my own words!:)

  • Chaplain Daniel & Linda Stephens Retirement Celebration Sept. 28, 2013 - Carnton Plantation, Franklin, TN. Couldn't have done it without all the love and support!! We are SO thankful for our family and friends - We are beyond blessed! :)
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  • September 28, 2013
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Daniel & Linda Stephens Retirement Celebration

Dearest Friends and Family,

On Sept. 28th, 2013 we made a memory that will forever be a treasure to our entire family…The four children and their families SURPRISED our parents COMPLETELY with a Retirement Celebration held at a Civil War Memorial called the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN.!ย  The whole weekend was filled with surprises – friends and family flying in from all over the U.S. and secret missions being accomplished all around them without them knowing!ย  When the time came Im not sure who was more tearful: our shocked parents or the thankful children! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  All of us were a part and David was the Keynote speaker, Jonathan the coordinator of the ceremony and the one who rewrote “I have the Watch” specifically for my Father at the end, Jennifer gave Mom an award and flowers, Amy sang and read another award, and Bart Higgins was our Master of Ceremonies along with many others who did the color guard, music, catering, photography, coordination & set up, and the list goes on!!

We SERIOUSLY could not have done this without you!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  We love you all…Mom and Dad…we honor you! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  In His Love, Your Children

Ending my first three classes of Seminary well…

This is the week! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Please pray as I finish finals (with all the exams and papers) for 3 Seminary classes. ย I also am in the second week of 2 other seminary classes – a told of 15 credit hours. ย I am loving it and yet weary with the late nights etc. ย I pray specifically that I won’t be an overachiever, but give them just what they are asking for! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I just had a 15 page paper turn into a 69 page paper just because I was gleaning so much from it – a character study on Peter. ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œThere are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .โ€

— Charles H. Spurgeon

Quote for Thought…

Seminary Finals..:)

Today begins finals (Exams and many projects and papers) in three Seminary classes….and then today I begin two more classes that will continue after these finish – total 15 Masters credit hours.ย  I couldn’t LOVE Seminary more.ย  I think I’m weird – Sometimes the excitement for what I’m learning overwhelms me to tears; sometimes the conviction brings me to my knees; and sometimes the elation of understanding another treasure of truth has caused me to get out of my chair and in my office have a praise party!!!ย ย ย  You know you are crazy when you are staying up past a time you want to admit, and you STILL can’t wait to start again in the morning.ย  Praise YOU Jesus…I feel like You’ve opened up worlds I either didn’t have the discipline to go after; hadn’t yet made the time to pursue; or would have never known to study on my own….Deeper and closer to You, Lord…This is my aim and desire!