Friday, May 28, 2010

Defeating the World

One of my favorite verses is 1 John 5:4. I memorized it a few years ago during a spiritually shaky time in my life. I wanted so badly to be more like Jesus, and consistently walk with Him, not just on Sunday. I always felt I was falling short. I would try to start each day as a new one with a clean slate, determined to do better. Sometimes before the day had barely gotten started, I would run smack dab into the enemy staring right at me with a temptation. Before I knew it, I had already swallowed the fruit. It NEVER tasted good.


 remember rationalizing bad attitudes and temptations with things like, “I’ll say this and won’t ever say anything else, that will be ok”. WRONG. Or here’s another sly one he would use - “just sit and listen, but don’t say anything”. That one didn’t work either. Soon I became convicted that even if I wasn’t “saying” anything, my association with someone who was did not reflect well to others or to the person speaking. Those who associated me with the one speaking assumed I was of the same opinion just because of my entertaining them and the one speaking interpreted my listening as 100% agreement, which wasn’t true either. I was exhausted with trying and felt like a failure at the end of every day. When I would walk out to my car from work, I would ask God, “did anything I said or did today reflect you in any way?”. I regretfully tell you, many times I felt like the answer was not a good one. I would go home for the evening, spend time in study and prayer before bed and begin the next day with good intentions, determined to do better.

It was a vicious cycle.

Praise God, it was broken!

I cried out to Him over and over and He impressed upon me to arm myself with the weapon of His word to fight the temptations. That’s when I learned 1 John 5:4 and it has stayed with me since. The New Living Translation says it this way:

“Every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory.”

I read it and pondered on it. EVERY child of God DEFEATS this evil world - those are the words that reeled me in. I wanted to defeat this so badly. I thought to myself – this could be the answer! How do I DEFEAT this world? I couldn’t read on fast enough for the “how to” and then I soaked up the rest of the verse ---- by trusting Christ to give the victory. Those words were like honey to my soul. I knew I was a child of God, therefore, I KNEW this verse applied to me.

The victory over sin was already achieved on the Cross, and He proved it on Resurrection Day, so the victory over my sin had already been won. I had to trust Christ for it and stop trying to do it myself. Every time I tried to accomplish victory on my own, it was like saying what He did on the cross was not enough. Even if I had been victorious, even once, I wouldn’t have done as good a job at it as He did! It wouldn’t have been lasting. I can’t tell you how many times I played that verse back in my mind, and sometimes even recited it out loud when I was faced with something. I began trusting Christ for the victory that was already mine, and my life began to change. When the enemy would knock on my door, I would tell him “Oh no you don’t! Christ already won this battle, so I don’t have to fight it. I am a child of God and all I have to do is trust in the victory Jesus already gave me!” I can sit here and type to you with 100% honesty, he would flee every time. He doesn’t like to be reminded that Jesus made me and you a victor!

What temptations and struggles does he keep dangling in front of you? First of all fight him with the only offensive weapon you have, the Everlasting Word of God. Secondly, trust Christ that His victory was enough and you don’t have to fight the fight.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fighting The Hands That Hold Us

My oldest daughter, McKayla, is now ten years old, which is very hard to believe. It seems as if it were only last week when she would fight her naps. On the weekends when I would do the household errands, she was always with me. She was a very good, happy baby and would let me lug her around for hours. When we would return home though, she would be so tired, warranting a much needed nap. I remember several instances of what I’m about to describe to you, but one of them stands out in particular. We had been out and about all day, returning home in the mid afternoon hours. I put away the groceries and household things we had picked up as she toddled around cranky. After I was finished, I picked her up and carried her to my bed so that I could lay down with her for an overdue nap. At first I just put her in the bed beside me, but then she decided she didn’t need a nap and kept trying to get up every time I would close my eyes. This went on for several minutes. Finally, I put my arms around her pulling her close to me nice and snug and held on to her as tight as I could without hurting her. Her little face was facing mine. For a bit, she would poke at my face, she would bump me with her wet pacifier, she would try to talk to me. I ignored all of her attempts and continued to lay there holding her with my eyes closed. It didn’t take long though and she was tired of this game and began to try to wrestle her way out of my arms. I just kept holding her close to me, eyes closed, relaxing as much as possible, while at the same time, not letting her go. This went on for several minutes. Finally she got so tired from fighting me that she fell asleep in my arms.


I will never forget that afternoon, I’m not sure why it stands out so much more vividly than the rest, maybe it’s because God knew that one day I would be using it to tell you about Him. One day this week I was listening to the song, “By Your Side” made popular by the group Tenth Avenue North. I have heard this song many, many times, but the words “please don’t fight these hands that are holding you. My hands are holding you” immediately took me back to that Saturday afternoon wrestling with my daughter. It made me think about how I have fought Him so tirelessly for so long at different times in my life, and He as tenderly, but as firmly as possible, has held on to me tight, keeping me right near Him. Who knows what I could have gotten myself into if I had wandered away? My hands that were holding her, were loving hands that knew what was best for her, yet she fought them with everything she had, just like I do God.

I’m no theologian, but I think God is the same with us as I was with McKayla that day. I was very sure of what needed to take place, she needed some rest. He knows we need to stop trying so hard and stop striving to no end and “rest” in His arms. Just as I sometimes think toward God, she didn’t think my nap idea was the best for her, so she resisted, and resisted, and resisted wanting to try something else. Even with the frustration I felt at first when she kept trying to get up and down off that bed, I was so filled with love for her when I drew her near me and held her tight, I thought my heart would burst. I felt that deep wonderful love for her in spite of her fighting me. Once she finally surrendered her battle and began to rest, I opened my eyes for a few minutes and studied her beautiful face, so amazed at what she had brought to my life. Then I, myself, drifted off to dream land too. I think when we get to the end of our ropes and finally stop wrestling, and just rest in the arms that are holding us. He feels that same thing.

Oh God, how I have fought and wrestled You, yet You’ve never grown weary with me. You just hold me close, patiently waiting for me to give up the fight so that You can do through me or for me what You want, while I rest. I thank You for your strong loving arms that never let me go.

“…He will carry the lambs in His arms,
holding them close to His heart….”
Isaiah 40:11

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coming Apart At The Seams

Have you ever owned anything that came apart at the seams? Once it has, if you don’t sew, it’s pretty useless once the seam is gone. I mean how would you like to pack around a purse or a backpack where the seam has ripped apart? I can see it now. If your purse is like mine, if the seams came apart, we would leave a trail behind us for quite a while. I know SOME of you (Brittany) would never allow your purse to be in the condition that mine is usually in, so this may be hard for you to imagine, but please humor me and try! It would be a total mess and the situation would probably make me so mad that I would throw the entire purse away. I would render it useless, never entertaining the thought to sew it back up.


What about you? Have YOU ever been coming apart at the seams?

Listen to Colossians 1:17

“And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

This says God holds everything together. The original word for the phrase “hold together” is sunistao. When I first saw that word I automatically thought of the word sustain, which is very similar to what the meaning is. This phrase, “hold together”, means “to join parts together into a whole, to constitute, restore”. All things are joined together by Him. Nothing is truly restored without Him.

When I “come apart at the seams”, and all of the “stuff” inside of me comes spilling out, leaving only the shell of me to work with, I think He gets excited about what He can do. He never gets frustrated and never tosses me away, considering me unusable. He is restores. He renews. He recycles. He sees me and you as very valuable, even if we have a whole torn in us. He puts us back together stitch by stitch until we are good as new. If we were glass, shattered into many pieces, He would be the glue to bind our pieces back together.

Do we ever toss people, relationships, or marriages away as useless when they are torn or broken? I think we all know the answer. Sadly, that answer is yes. We never consider allowing them to be repaired. I truly believe what this verse says; ALL things are held together through Him. Without Him all of our relationships are at risk of ripping apart at the seams. He is the very thread that keeps things together, but we come along with a seam ripper – in the form of mistakes, sin, and bad choices and rip apart what He has put together. If we are ever to be restored, that restoration must come from the Master Tailor. If the seam is ever going to hold up and sustain the activity of wear and tear from daily life, it must be sewn with His thread.

I bet He doesn’t have a bit of trouble threading a needle!

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Piece of the Worm

Have you ever looked into a nest of baby birds? Baby birds, in my opinion, are some of the ugliest, yet most precious creatures. They’re practically bald, their eyes aren’t open, their bodies are clumsy. If they try to move in the nest, they just fall over because their legs won’t hold them. What happens when they sense you near the nest? This is the precious part – they lift their heavy heads and throw them back as far as they can prying that mouth, which is enormous in comparison to the rest of their bodies, open as wide as they can. They’ve been waiting for momma to come back to the nest with food for them. They wait for their piece of the worm. The sad thing is they can easily mistake any noise for momma’s arrival. They can’t see who or what is really there.


If I am not connected with Jesus as closely as I need to be, its easy to open myself up to whatever life or people want to “feed me”, just like those little birds. My eyes, much like theirs, aren’t open to everything that is going on around me, so I can’t discern who it is that brings me food. Is it my Father, or is it someone else?

Listen to what God says – I love this verse:

     “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” Psalms 81:10

He’s got everything we need to fill us, and he wants to. He says “open your mouth wide and I will fill it”. Often we let everything else fill us up, so much that we have no appetite when He arrives with our nourishment, our worm. He has the perfect food for us, He knows just what we need to survive, yet we settle for the first thing to arrive to the nest, which is normally junk. It has no lasting significance. That momma bird knows exactly what to bring them, and I love to watch it happen. It amazes me how she brings little pieces of a worm to them and just drops it right in their mouths. It’s just what they need and before you know it, a day or two goes by, and they have grown and look totally different. They grow out of that awkwardness and are able to stand and hop around, and soon, they learn to fly.

Lord I pray for my friends and family as well as myself today that we would throw our heads back and open our mouths only for You. When we sense you near, I pray that we open our mouths wide in total abandon for what You have for us. I pray, God, that we would close our mouths to anything that is not what You want to fill us and wait for You to bring us “our piece of the worm”, exactly what we need to grow more today. If we keep that up, soon we will be able to hop around the nest stretching our wings, in anticipation of You teaching us to fly.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Background Noise

Both of our girls play softball and, as a result, much of our time is spent at a ball field. This serves as your warning that this may be the first of many stories from the bleachers of my life! Saturday we were at Brenna’s game - go there with me for just a minute.

There is a little girl on her team that is a very athletic, talented player, who is very capable of hitting the ball and doing it well. Our last game wasn’t her best from a batting standpoint and this had upset her, so she was under increased pressure to do well. She comes up for her turn at bat and steps into the batter’s box extra eager to hit the ball. The people in the stands were just as eager. Immediately as she took her place, we all began to say things to her to encourage her. “You can do it!” Then, in addition, everyone is giving her pointers, myself included. “Just make contact”, “Aim for the top of the ball”, “Scoot back toward the catcher”, “Just Relax” (that’s hilarious considering she’s 8 and there’s 30 adults shouting at her!), “Keep your head in there”, “Don’t drop your shoulder”, “Get your bat back”, “Just watch the ball hit your bat”. I could list many more, but I’m sure you can hear it all in your head now. The voices are flying around, and she’s trying to focus. Strike 1. The advice repeats, she adjusts her helmet and sets back up. Strike 2. More advice from the stands, she looks toward the voices in desperation, almost tearful, the last thing she wants to do is strike out. The coach had been trying to teach her from the pitchers mound, but all of the external noise was making it hard for her to concentrate and understand what he wanted her to do. This was her last chance. In an effort to help, the coach walks to her from the pitching machine to speak directly to her. He turns their backs to the stands, puts his arm around her shoulder, shielding her from everything else. He nudges her close to him so that she can hear him, and bends down level with her ear. His voice travels to her from over her shoulder. She finally can hear him and we can see her nod her little head in that helmet that seems so big. She understands what he’s telling her now!

He walks back to his spot. She positions herself to take a swing, focused intently on the coach this time, it was as if the crowd wasn’t even audible to her. The ball is released. It’s coming toward her, she sees it. She knows what to do. She swings.

She hits.

How many times is life like that for us? We have so many voices giving us advice, telling us what to do, and often, just like in the stands, those giving us advice, have never played the game we are in. There are so many things shouting at us from this world, it’s hard to decide when to listen and which one to listen to. All of the advice sounds like it will work, but that’s not always the case. The voices may mean well, just like the parents and grandparents in the stands, but they may mislead us. There is only one voice to listen to and that’s the Coach, our Lord. He knows exactly what to tell us and he will be glad to give us the exact instruction we need.

     Isaiah 30:20-21 “Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you. ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

Father, as I approach my “at bat” on this day, I realize there will be many suggestions and recommendations from this world and those around me about how to live my life. Some of the advice will actually be spoken, but some unspoken. I pray, God, that when all of the noise is so loud and I am torn about what to do, that I would first call You from the pitchers mound so that I can hear exactly what You are speaking to me. You promise in these verses that my eyes will behold my Teacher and that my ears will hear you behind me, just as you’re over my shoulder, whispering in my ear telling me what to do. “This is the way, walk in it”! I pray, dear Jesus, that today, would be a grand slam for Your kingdom and that you would be praised.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Friday, May 21, 2010

New Shoes

I bought a new pair of tennis shoes this week and wore them to work for the first time yesterday. I really like them, they feel so good on my feet. I didn’t realize how worn out my other ones were until I felt the comfort of these. If my feet could smile, I think they would have!

What’s funny is I noticed myself being careful with my feet all day, afraid I would get them dirty. I remember doing the same thing as I was growing up. We didn’t get “new” tennis shoes often, so when I was fortunate enough to have a new pair, I remember thinking things like “I’m not gonna keep these as white as I can”, “I’m not wearing these outside”, “I don’t want them to get dirty”, “I want them to stay looking new”, “Don’t step on my feet”. I had high hopes for my new shoes and would go to extremes to keep them from getting dirty. Every time someone came within a 2 mile radius of my newly shod feet, I would look down to be sure they weren’t getting close enough to my new shoes to get a SPECK of dirt on them. I guarded them with my life! I tiptoed around rainwater trying to avoid any splashes, I wouldn’t put my feet on the desk in front of me at school, and I kept my feet straight ahead of me on the school bus, careful not to let them stick out in the aisle, lest they get stepped on. I even remember being so upset over my sister losing a pair of my tennis shoes that she borrowed for P.E. that I was mad at her for days.

What if I took my spiritual life that seriously? What if I went to extremes to keep the dirt and splashes of sin off of my life? What if I was that serious about keeping myself new, white, and clean, free from sin. What if I guarded myself from sin so fiercely, avoiding it at all costs? It’s amazing how careful we will be about keeping something as trivial as shoes free from dirt and soil, but we are so haphazard with keeping ourselves out of sin’s reach.

Psalms 34:14-15 tell us this:

“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”

Holy Spirit, sharpen my ears to your voice today. May I be more sensitive to your convicting me of my sin. Help me to see my sin as just that – Sin. May I hear You speak to me throughout this day reminding me and teaching me to be holy, plant a strong desire in me to depart from evil and pursue righteousness. Lord, I pray for a heart that grieves over grieving You. The life You gave was worth much more than a new pair of tennis shoes and I pray that I would be more appreciative of your sacrifice as I go through the moments of this day. I ask You, Father, for a gate upon my lips that sin would not depart from my tongue, I pray for your compassion in my mind, that I would see others as you do. I pray for discernment about mindless activity that could lead me right into sin’s path. I have not prayed for anything that I am not capable of, for my capability comes from You. Lord I also ask You to remind me to be quick to run to you to wipe off the smudges of sin with your tender loving hand. I pray to be more like You at the ending of this day than I am at the beginning.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dust Clouds

I ran across one of those verses last night that stopped me in my tracks in how it describes my God, the One who loves me.

I hope you love this verse as much as I did.

“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet.” Nahum 1:3

He might be slow to anger, but when He gets mad, from what this says, I believe people take notice. His comes fast like a whirlwind storm and the clouds are mere dust under his feet. Close your eyes for a moment think about what a stormy sky looks like, those dark rolling clouds, the distant rumbles in the sky, they go on for what seems like forever. They are mere dust to him. The description for the word “dust” in the original language means extremely fine powdery particles, the same as dust raised from the hooves of galloping horses, and (get this definition!) the notion that signifies utter insignificance. The clouds that we see are so small in comparison to Him that they are “utterly insignificant" and His response so quick that those clouds are kicked up as dust under his feet like a horse galloping across dusty terrain.

God, I am at a place once again where I am breathless at the thought of how big You are and how small I am. To know that something that seems so large to me, like a cloud in the sky, is utterly insignificant to You, yet You see something as small as my human life as VERY significant goes beyond my comprehension. How dare I ever doubt your strength and power. I am brought to tears in this moment thinking of how perfect You must be that you can focus on my smallness and still feel love even though my size pales in comparison to yours. Your ability to look past all of the large things in Your creation and zero in on me is astounding. It makes me think of the zoom on a camera, Your eyes go past all of that to land on me. I don’t why You focus your amazing love in this direction, but I am forever thankful. I am nothing without You.


Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stained Glass

I have always thought stained glass windows are so and beautiful and interesting, even when I was a child. My mom has a very old stained glass window hanging in her living room that was an original window from her grandfather’s home which she visited when she was a little girl. I was so happy when Momma was able to salvage it for herself and I have enjoyed her enjoying it. I have looked at that window suspended over the counter from the ceiling so many times throughout my life and wondered about the stories it could tell. I can just imagine how pretty it would be if the sun got the chance do dance upon its surface again. However, as many times as I have admired it, there have been many more times that I didn’t appreciate its beauty. Stained glass windows are often go unnoticed until the light hits them because without the light, some of the colors seem dark and boring, but my how beautiful they are when the sunlight dances through the panes and all of the intricate details of the design can be seen. The radiance almost draws you to the window. My friend, Leslie, and I went into an old church downtown last spring while practicing our picture taking skills. The groundskeeper saw us taking pictures of the exterior architecture and told us to feel free to go on inside. When we went into that old sanctuary, the stained glass windows were breathtaking to me. It was almost as if I could hear the heavens rejoicing as the light penetrated the glass.


Just as no two stained glass windows are exactly the same, none of us is the same. Each window is made up of different sized panels and colors, and the things that each of us experience in our life color us and shape us differently. Without light shining through all of the different parts of the window, the details can easily go unappreciated or unnoticed and sometimes, as people, it’s easy to feel that way too. We may see the things that we have done or that have happened to us as stains on the glass of our lives, but he uses the things we see as stains, to make something remarkable.

My life and yours are both patterned so uniquely by our God into a beautiful and intricate design. All I have to do is my position myself so that His light can dance upon me and through me. His light brings brilliance to the colors of my life and reflects in all directions. He can even use His light to break through panels from my life that in my opinion would represent a dark color and reveal a beautiful color to others.

Oh, God, my Master Crafter, thank you for designing me as your own. I pray, Father, that I would allow enough of your light to shine through my life’s experiences to draw others to my window to see what your light can do and the beauty it can create. I pray that others will see what your light can do for them and how you can use their trials and experiences to craft something so beautiful when exposed to your light. Lord bless me with the desire to let you shine your light into parts of my life that haven’t yet experienced your creative work. I thank you for the warmth that your light brings to my soul. It wraps my heart like warm blanket on a cold day and I love that about You.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come,

And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you

For behold, darkness will cover the earth,

And deep darkness the peoples;

But the Lord will rise upon you,

And His glory will appear upon you.

And nations will come to your light,

And kings to the brightness of your rising."

Isaiah 60:1-3

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Smoke Detectors Save Lives

We have heard the phrase “Smoke Detectors Save Lives” for years now, and we all know that statement is true. Some believe it much more passionately than others because they have seen firsthand the damage and devastation that smoke and fire can cause. My dad is one of those people. When we built our house, my dad was very persistent that we have smoke detectors , in fact he was so persistent that he even sent someone to my house with smoke detectors offering to install them. I think he was more worried about the grandbabies than us, if the truth be told, but that’s okay. Todd and I actually have several in our home now, thanks to Dad, and having them helps put us at ease when it comes to our family’s safety. We all also know the rule about keeping fresh batteries in them and testing them with every time change to be sure everything is working properly. What good is a smoke detector that is not operational?


Speaking of “smoke detecting”, there’s this little phrase I keep in mind, I have no idea where I first heard it, but it has stuck with me. When it comes to detecting a lie from the enemy, sometimes the lie is so obvious that you’ll catch me spouting off “That’s a lie from satan and it smells like smoke!” We all know where the liar’s home is, and we know that it is referred to as a lake of fire. Where there’s fire, there’s smoke. You know what you smell like after you have been outside around a fire? Smoke – it’s in your hair, on your clothes, even your skin. Satan reaks of it. Everything that comes from his mouth smells like smoke, some lies smell stronger than others, but it all has the same smell. Sometimes smoke isn’t easy to see and its smell is very subtle in the beginning. How many times have you asked someone “Do you smell smoke?” Then you proceed around the room sniffing for it, trying to find the source.

That’s why we need smoke detectors. Spiritually speaking, our smoke detectors are truths that are made available from our Heavenly Father, just like my dad did at my house, to alarm us of smoke and impending fire. We can install them in every area of our life by simply learning what The Word says. We cannot detect smoke if we don’t have fresh batteries, fresh truth, plugged in to our life. Without it, we can fall prey and suffer from smoke inhalation and barely escape the fire choking for our next breath. That’s exactly the enemy’s plan – to choke the life right out of you before you even see the fire.

I challenge you to install some new smoke detectors – there’s truth for every situation. You can trust that He will give you every detector you need, He has an endless supply. Let’s replace the one who’s “blowing smoke” with truth from the One who is a “Consuming Fire”. (Hebrews 12:29)

“Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” Jeremiah 23:29

Now, that’s the kind of smoke I want to smell!

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Enough?

Do you ever have one of those days where one little thing happens and it opens up things within you that you didn’t realize were that big of a deal? I had one of those days yesterday. Looking back, it all started with a hot dog. I know – stupidest thing you ever heard, I agree, but I’m just being honest here. I was not really in the mood for a hot dog, it had been a busy weekend and I had in my mind how nice it would be to go somewhere for lunch and just relax over our meal and enjoy it. I don’t consider eating at the cafĂ© in Sam’s Club a relaxing lunch, but since my husband and family wanted to eat pizza there, I decided I would have a hot dog and make the best of it, after all, at least I’m able to eat out, I could be in Haiti or somewhere worse. Typically I like hot dogs and if I can eat them with relish and mustard, I’m usually a happy camper.

Here’s a little background information for you, I’m sure you will be able to relate. After picking out my clothes for church, I looked down at my watch to check the time and my watch battery was dead. No big deal I thought, I can always put my phone on the counter to keep an eye on the time. Less than ten minutes later, I reached up to take off my glasses, which are relatively new, and the whole arm pops off and flies across the bathroom. I thought, “no big deal, I bet it will snap right back on.” Wishful thinking, no such luck! Determined not to allow this to ruin my Sunday morning, I thought to myself, “at least I have my old ones,” so I dug them out and put them on and continued getting us all ready for church.

Adding these irritations to some other things that have been going on in my mind and life made for the perfect recipe for a meltdown just in time for the hot dog. I’ll spare you all of the long details about this fine cuisine and sum it up by saying this – I had to cut it up, bun and all, with a knife and fork in order to eat it, there was no picking it up in the normal fashion. The irritation I allowed myself to feel over the hot dog spilled over into the rest of my day and my household. Isn’t it ridiculous how the silliest things can send us right over the edge? I had driven up to the edge of a cliff and didn’t even realize it until I was plummeting over the side because of a hot dog, of all things.

Driving home from church last night, still in semi-meltdown mode, my mind was swarming with thoughts. I was so irritated by just plain old “life”. Circumstances, relationships, hurts, pressures, irritations were all playing out in my mind and I was thankful that, in the midst of things that were and are out of my control, at least I still had Jesus. Then I sensed God asking me a question.

“If all of the things of this life were stripped away -- your family, your husband, your church, your job, your friends -- life as you know it, would I be enough for you?”

I have to admit I was caught off guard and I had to think about that for a few seconds. If that were to happen, would He be enough to pull me through to the other side? As I pondered this, the Holy Spirit used the CD that was playing to remind me of the stone rolling away from the tomb and my Jesus walking out of the grave for me and in my spirit, I could say

“Yes.”

I realize it’s easy for me to say that now because I still have life “as I know it” and I don’t know what tomorrow might bring. One never really knows how they will react until something happens, but I do know that He is my everything and has been my everything every time I have needed Him. I trust Him to never leave me or forsake me according to Hebrews 13:5.

My question is the same for you today. If it were all stripped away- people, positions, things - would He still be enough for you?


Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Rejected Shame

Have you ever felt shame over something? I have felt shame more than my share of times in my life and it feels awful. Who hasn’t felt it at some point? Sometimes shame comes from words that have been said that can’t be taken back. Sometimes we feel shame from something we have done and we would do anything to turn back time and change it. No matter the specific action, we are tormented with all kinds of thoughts where shame is concerned. “What was I thinking?” “I can never show my face again.” “What will they think of me?” “I can’t believe I did that.” “Why did I do that?” “I’m worthless.” “I should have known better.” “I’m such a failure.” “What kind of Christian am I?”

I don’t know where I would be today if I still carried shame around with me like a purse on my shoulder. Praise God, he took it away. If you’re feeling shame today, here’s a nugget of truth for you to chew on. I hope it brings you as much delight as it did to me.

“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NASB

There’s an amazing little phrase tucked in that verse that I love, “despising the shame”. The definition of despise according to my concordance is “to reject or scorn”. What do you do when you reject something? It’s cast aside. Something you reject is something that you want to have no connection with you and you certainly don’t want to own it.

Now for that little word that gives us such a heavy weight – “shame”. Jesus endured the cross. What shame was there that day? Mine, yours, and every person you can think of – their shame was there too. There was plenty of shame hanging around. If that wasn’t enough, crucifixion was a very humiliating death of that time, which was certain to provide plenty more shame. The enemy’s tactics did not work with Jesus like they do with us though, the scripture says Jesus despised the shame – He rejected it. It had no place with Him. He didn’t own it and it wasn’t going to own Him. He accepted no connection with it.

I can just picture Him taking that shame and slinging it as far as His mighty hand would send it and then immediately marching confidently, head held high, to take His place, at the right hand of God. He had nothing to be ashamed of, and since He lived a sinless life and was on that cross in your place, neither do you.

Dear sisters, shame is not of God. Reject it. It does not own you and you don’t have to own it.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

If you are in Him, there is no shame for you. It is not yours. There is one who wants to heap it on you and watch you pack it around as if it belongs to you, but live by Jesus example and despise it, get mad at it, reject it. Glare your eyes at that shame like its your worst enemy. Turn and walk away from it. Jesus already defeated it.

Jesus, for some reason this word is so real to me. It may not speak to anyone else today as it has to me, but it makes me see you so strong and so powerful. If you can despise enough shame for the sins of the entire world, I believe you have made me strong enough to despise the shame I face in this life. I see you acting in your authority and it excites me to see you defiant of the enemy and to know that you did this all in defense of me. You were victorious over death, hell, and the grave and You are MINE!

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dirty Laundry

I am not a morning person and since I am not, my morning routine to leave the house is very regimented, lest I self –destruct. Normally, the last thing I do before telling Todd goodbye and grabbing my purse is take the dirty clothes to the laundry room. One day last week, I had went through my usual morning schedule and it was time to head out for the day. I had my hands full in an attempt to make one trip from that end of the house to the laundry room instead of three, since the laundry room is right by the back door. I had empty hangers, a book, a dirty dish, dirty laundry, and who knows what else in my arms. I put up the hangers, put the dish in the dishwasher, stuffed the book in my purse, grabbed the door knob to step outside, and realized I still had the dirty laundry in my arms. I had even went into the laundry room to hang up the hangers and not gotten rid of that laundry, it seemed perfectly natural for it to be in my arms.

I had taken my shower, gotten all clean, dressed myself in clean clothes, spent time styling my hair (that’s hilarious!), applied my makeup, brushed my teeth, and put on my socks and shoes all in preparation for the day ahead, yet packed DIRTY laundry to the back door, perfectly content to take it with me for the day.

Isn’t that what we do? We go to God, let Him clean us up, spit shine us, beautify us, we even put on shoes ready to sprint out and spread the gospel, but then we choose to pack our dirty laundry with us. We don’t leave it in the hamper and go out free from the baggage in our arms.

“ Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold new things have come.” 2Cor 5:16-17

I am not the same person once I am ready to leave the house as I was when I opened my eyes ( thank goodness). The dirt of the day before has been washed away and it’s a new start. I believe that we all really want to be clean, but we continue to pack the dirty clothes with us because we feel like that’s who we are, that’s what we allow to define us. The good news is - if you are in Christ, you are no longer recognized by your dirty laundry, you are all fresh and clean, so stop packing the dirty laundry out with you on a daily basis. Your past no longer defines you; you aren’t wearing those dirty clothes any more. You are a new creation, you’ve got new, clean clothes on today. He never intends for you to wear those dirty clothes again, they have passed away and something new has come. We have to become less attached to what we used to wear and more attached to what we wear now because that’s how the Father recognizes us.

Jesus, please forgive me for making less of your sacrifice by allowing myself to believe I am still who I used to be. I chose today to believe to the depth of my soul what your word says. This is not a matter of empty words on a page, these words are real, alive, and active and you mean this about me. You weren’t wasting your breath when you wrote your words of truth. I am new. The old me is gone and I accept this truth today. I may not always feel new, but I trust what you have said and believe that I am. I thank you for the spiritual dirty clothes hamper and am excited to face this day without a load of dirty laundry in my arms.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Distractions

After a long, blah day, I was excited to get home, finish dinner and retreat to my room to read something in my Bible that I had started the day before. I like to sneak to my room to read because I can concentrate. No TV blaring, no dog bugging me to play, no racket from the washer and dryer, no playing referee. I had it all planned out in my mind. Todd went outside to work on the mower, the dishes were cleaned up, the girls were doing their thing, or so I thought.


Enter distraction #1
I eagerly headed to my room to curl up on my bed with my Bible and what to my wondering eyes should appear? But 2 girls camped out on my bed, TV on, remote in hand. I couldn’t help but sigh. Acting like a child myself, I said “but I was coming in here to study and y’all are watching TV in here!” They thought nothing of my need for quiet and just scooted over to let me plop up on the bed too. I decided to press on.

Enter distraction #2
Old Testament stories are sometimes hard to read even in the deadest silence, but imagine trying to read words like Jabesh, Ammonite, Nahash, Bezek, Jabesh-gilead, Ashtaroth, Jerubbaal (I could go on, but you get the point!) and trying to make sense of it all as your children keep pausing the TV to replay something they think will interest you like “Tow Mater” retelling a story of all the near misses his cartoon life. I tried to show interest, while trying to keep the dots connected between all the “ites” and “ashes” and whatever else I was reading. I humored them for a few moments until it was permissible to bury my head in the pages again. I was determined to block it all out.

Enter distraction #3
It is now 8:15 PM on a school night, and my oldest daughter, McKayla, decides it is paramount that she polishes her nails RIGHT NOW. Trying to look on the bright side, I tell myself “at least she asked permission this time.” I tried to explain that it was too close to bed time and that if it didn’t have enough time to dry completely, her nails would be ruined. So much for that idea, (thank you Teresa Travis :)!) She quickly explained to me that Mrs. Teresa taught her to run her fingers under cold water and it would harden her nail polish quicker. Desperately wanting to end the conversation so I could return to all of the “ites” and “ashes”, I agreed that she could paint her nails.

Time for distraction #4
I no more than bent my head down to read again, and my dear sweet husband, who I thought was still out in the garage, flips the vacuum cleaner on in no place other than at the foot of my bed. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – I would love for my husband to vacuum! Let me clarify, I do appreciate him, I couldn’t make it without his help. He just needs some work on his timing, and this was not a good time.

The distractions keep coming – the vacuum stops, the phone rings, the nail polish stinks, the TV is loud. Are you there with me yet?

Isn’t that what life is like? I try to remain centered on my King and there is constantly an interruption, a racket, distractions at every turn. Believe it or not, despite all of these distractions, I did meet with God before it was all said and done, but it wasn’t easy. I felt as if I was living the verse:

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

I had to search for Him with all that was within me, but I found Him and we had a great time together. You can find him too, just don’t give up too quickly, it will be worth the effort.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Unconventional Worship

God is all about details, not just in the little details He uses to woo and pursue us, but also in the details of obedience. This lesson hurt me just a little, I’ll warn you ahead of time!

I was reading about Saul in 1 Samuel 15. He had the world by the tail. He had been anointed king over God’s people and the future was looking pretty bright for Saul until he messed up. He couldn’t say “I didn’t know, nobody told me” like we sometimes do. There was no excuse, he had no one to blame. In verse 1, Samuel, God’s prophet, had said “listen to the words of the Lord” before giving him clear, precise instructions about destroying the Amalekites. He was told to destroy them, all that they had, put to death all of the people and put to death their livestock.

He headed out for battle and defeated the Amalekites and destroyed all of the people. However, Saul and his people, feeling victorious, took it upon themselves to capture and spare Agag, the King of the Amalekites, keep the best of the livestock, “and all that was good” v9. They were only willing to destroy the things that were worth nothing, but wanted to keep the good stuff. That’s not what God said to do!

It doesn’t matter if you are a king, God is always watching and expects obedience. Not partial obedience, complete obedience. God noticed what Saul had done and spoke to Samuel about it. Samuel went to see King Saul the next day and as Samuel approaches, King Saul, so proud of his accomplishment, gives him the replay. To make a long story short – Samuel calls him on it. He asks him why he didn’t obey God’s instruction. King Saul insists that he did obey and blames the people for bringing back the livestock, saying they planned to use it to sacrifice to God. Samuel didn’t buy his excuse and neither did God.

     “….Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” 1 Sam 15:22

He also goes on to tell Saul that because he had rejected God’s word to him, God was rejecting him as king. Saul became distraught at what he had been told and began begging Samuel for forgiveness, confessing that he had listened to the people and not to God. As Samuel tried to walk away, Saul tugged on Samuel in despair so desperately, he tore Samuel’s robe. I can only imagine the regret King Saul felt, his world began to crumble around him. He finally convinced Samuel to return with him so that he could be honored before his people for the victory and so that he could worship God with him.

     “So Samuel went back following Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.” 1Sam 15:31

I found that odd. If he was in deep trouble with God, why on earth would he want to go worship? When I feel like I’m in trouble with God, I don’t exactly feel like lifting my hands in praise and singing. I can barely lift my eyes to His throne, I am so disappointed and ashamed of myself. I looked up how the word “worship” is used here and it means “fall down”, “make to stoop”, “bow self down”. Whoa!– bowing self down is worship in God’s eyes. He wants obedience, and even when I’ve been disobedient, once I bow down before Him, its worship. Saul may have been stripped of his title as king because of his obedience, but I bet he never forgot this moment of worship.

Oh Sovereign One, I am in awe at the realization of another aspect of what worship is to you. I have made it something so small. Even my bowing in submission to you after I have screwed up is worship to you. Sometimes that is all I have to offer you and you willingly accept it. I realize that partial obedience is the same as disobedience and I want to honor you with my life. Holy Spirit, may I be ever dependent upon your strength to stand firm and obey. May my ears hear your instructions clearly so that I follow your directions precisely, not allowing the opinions of people to influence my actions. Thank you, Father, for this lesson. I pray you root it deep within my heart to produce a harvest for you.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Copy Cats

Remember when you were a kid in school and the names people were called? Cutter, Tattle Tale, Cheater, and then there was the “Copy Cat”. We all knew there were those who had wandering eyes when it came to class work. I would hunch down over my paper real close as I filled in my answers. As I got to the bottom of the sheet I would cover the top part of my paper with my forearm and hand as I kept on writing. I despised “Copy Cats”. To me it was the same as stealing, I guess. I would study and do my work like I was supposed to, and then if someone even had the thought of looking off my paper and “robbing” my answers, I would be furious. I remember people getting reputations as “Copy Catters” and some of us dreaded it when the teacher rearranged the classroom. We all always worried about getting our desk moved next to a trouble maker or a copy cat. If there was the slightest hint of someone with eyes roaming across the room to and fro, it was like we would descend upon our paper and throw our whole body on top of it. I bet it looked like an all out seizure! All just because we “thought” someone may or may not be looking off our paper.

Can you hear yourself in your third grade voice? “Stop reading my answers!” “I’m gonna tell Mrs._________ if you don’t stop!” “Cheater cheater pumpkin eater!” Or sometimes the teacher would blurt out the dreaded statement to the whole to the class, “Eyes on your own paper!” Immediately, every time I heard this, my heart would start pounding because I was fearful she had mistaken me for cheating despite the fact there was 30 other students in the classroom. I was petrified of cheating, it’s a wonder I even have peripheral vision at this point because I was so afraid to let my eyes move off my desk!

Believe it or not, being a “Copy Cat” can be a good thing and here’s why:

“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” 1 Cor 11:1

The apostle Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church telling them to “imitate” him because he was “imitating” Christ.

Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children” Eph 5:1

What does “imitate” mean? I looked it up in the dictionary and the definition I found was “to reproduce or copy”. So to paraphrase Ephesians 5:1 for our purposes, it could say something like “be copy catters of God”. If we were in a classroom with Him, I really don’t think He would cover up His paper on His desk. He wouldn’t descend upon His paper with His entire upper body at the slightest movement around Him. I think He would helping a struggling friend out and write the answers REAL BIG to be sure she could see the answers from across the room! He has all the answers, and unlike me in my elementary days, He is glad to share them.

The question is – if the teacher were to take up my paper today, could she tell who I had been copying off of?

Father, I am so thankful that you don’t expect me to have all the answers. You have them all laid out before me. All I have to do is move my eyes from my small space over to yours. You are there waiting to help me do well. I pray that my eyes would be turned to you today and let you give me the answers to the questions I face.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Friday, May 7, 2010

Dress Rehearsal

I recently bought a new blouse that I liked very much. When I tried it on in the store, I felt good, I felt pretty. Knowing that doesn’t happen often after 2 children and the grey hair coming in, I marched right to the counter and bought it. It wasn’t even on sale! I never do that. It was a weak moment. The next day I decided I would wear it to church. For some reason that morning, I went in the laundry room to iron it and instead of just slapping it down on the ironing board, I stopped to read the tag.

Linen

It was a divine appointment. He wanted to whisper something to my heart that I had learned a long time ago. Just like I had bought a new blouse for myself, He has bought something for me to wear, although, the garment He bought me cost Him so much more.

“I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 NLT

He bought me a garment of salvation and a robe of righteousness and has dressed me in it. Did you notice, He even thought about the accessories? He’s not too cheap for a few jewels!
But it gets even better than that –

“Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:
‘Praise the Lord!
For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us be glad and rejoice,
And let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
And his bride has prepared herself.
She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.’
For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.”Rev 19:6-8 NLT

That Sunday was like a “dress rehearsal” to me because I got to go to His house and worship wearing linen. In the culture of that time, linen was a very fine quality costly fabric that they longed to have. It made me giddy inside over my Savior who has gone to prepare the home I will share with Him someday. He’s got my fine white linen dress there in the bridal chamber ready, ironed, without spot or wrinkle. The dress He has for me will fit to a tee and so will yours. I can just imagine that white gown being so full and flowing in the breezes of the Heavens. No wedding stress, just the wedding. Won’t we all look splendid?

After all, He will only settle for the best for His bride.

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Instability

We live in an unstable world. Stock markets crash, oil spills into oceans, countries go to war, jobs can be lost in the blink of an eye, marriages crumble unexpectedly, homes can be lost, people can hurt us. When I am feeling “unstable” on the inside, when it feels like the ground beneath me is about to quake, I am put at ease by your words, God.


“And He shall be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is his treasure.” Isaiah 33:6

Sometimes the atmosphere we are living in is unstable. It feels like things could erupt at any moment, relationships feel uneasy. People we love can hurt us or become hurt in the blink of an eye. Sometimes we can’t even trust ourselves. But You, God, are our stability in these times. When I can’t trust myself, I can trust You. You are my stability when my knees are shaking at what life may or may not bring. You, God, are a wealth of salvation. You rescue us when we feel shaken. We may not be able to rely on this world or other people to be stable and never change, but we can rely on You. You, my Jesus, are not affected by circumstances or opinions or situations. You are You. Unchanging. You are a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. I bring all of that unsteadiness to You in exchange for the wisdom and knowledge that you can show me and I pray that my friends and family can do that too. When life feels uncertain, You are certainty. I cannot praise you enough for being the everlasting God who’s love endures forever. Thank you for your unchanging nature that so readily loves and rescues.

On this National Day of Prayer, I have sensed you so close to me this morning.  May that closeness be the same for those who read these words. Holy Spirit, remind us often today to pray for this world and our country.



Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Final Destinations

I have been writing my blog posts from my work computer because of the luxury of high speed internet at our office. When you live at “the edge of the earth”, as my friend Beth calls it, high speed internet is not an option at home. Yesterday I had this bright idea to write my post from home and save it on a jump drive so I could just copy and paste it to my blog once I arrived at work. Typically, I have been leaving for work much earlier than normal so that I have plenty of time to type when I get there, but since I was being so smart and doing the typing at home, I didn’t have to leave until my regular time. Those who know me know that I don’t make a practice of allowing extra time. I don’t know why, I just don’t. As I pulled out of my driveway, I checked the clock on my dash and thought to myself, “I’ve got it made. I’ll have just enough time to publish my post before I clock in.” Then a second thought crossed my mind – “unless I encounter the gold minivan”. You see, there is this gold minivan that lives near me, not as close to the edge of the earth as I live, but relatively near it. It never fails that when I am running a little snug on time, I get behind this precious van. “Thou shalt not speed” must be in this person’s ten commandments. No joke. I have to climb a few hills on my trek in, and sometimes I’m not so sure we’re gonna have enough speed to get to the top of the hill before rolling backward.

Yep – it happened. I got behind not just THE gold minivan, but TWO gold minivans just alike, one right in front of the other. I told God that I didn’t think this was very funny, but He made it clear He felt otherwise and, once again, He sat me down for one of his fatherly little lessons. He wanted me to realize, it’s not about my timing, it’s about His.

I knew where I was going yesterday morning and I wanted to hurry up and get there. I didn’t care about the scenery along the way. I didn’t care about what I could observe and learn at this slower pace. I had it all planned out. I guess He could tell I wasn’t getting it, because, in addition to the two minivans, a song came on the radio that was all about “slowing down” and patience and waiting. Sometimes we know exactly where He plans on taking us on our journey with Him because He has shown us and we get impatient and want to get to the destination,“now”. That’s how I view my self spiritually. I know what He has in mind for the destination, He sees me as a finished work, and I get frustrated when I can’t get there fast enough. He wants us to slow down and take in what He’s teaching us along the journey. Sometimes it may seem boring for a moment, but there’s always a purpose.

His little nudges were telling me, not in your time, but mine, just trust me. Take it all in.

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” I Thes 5:24

What’s that mean? He has called you to Himself; He will be faithful to finish what He started. Don’t get discouraged when you stumble and feel like you aren’t making progress, trust Him to finish what He started, there’s great lessons to be learned from waiting and sometimes even from stumbling. Don’t worry, you will reach your final destination at just the perfect moment.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.


Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lullabies

The place where I work is located inside a hospital. Although the hospital intercom is not played inside our office, sometimes I can hear what goes out from it from my desk. One thing I hear often is the lullabies that are played each time a new baby is born. It always seems to get my attention. Even if it’s the fifth one I’ve heard that day, it never gets old. As soon as I hear it, a feeling of joy stirs within me. I think of the pain that that new mother has just endured and the joy she now experiences. I think of a daddy, who never cries, having tears fill his eyes. A family is forever changed. I think of a new life. A new beginning. I can feel the joy all over again of my girls being born.
Guess what? The angels feel the same when one of us comes to know their Creator.
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
I can imagine the angels standing at the very edge of the heavens, leaning over as far as they can, watching each one us labor through years of pain and struggles anticipating that “moment” when our new life begins.
And then it happens. One cries out in pain. One is born again. The music begins. There is rejoicing.
Has your lullaby ever been played in the heavenlies? The “waiting room” is full of those who have been anticipating the arrival of your new life. I don’t think they just hear a lullaby over a loud speaker though, I think it’s an all out party! A party that the KING OF ALL CREATION throws with all of his riches.
If your lullaby has never been played, I would love to share the story of my Jesus with you, email me at beyondsundaymornings@gmail.com .

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Blackberry Cobbler or Mud Pies?

My husband loves blackberries and he loves blackberry cobbler even more!  Because he likes them so well, he decided to try to grow his own blackberry vines this year.  He bought 4 starters and nursed them along until it was time to plant them out in the yard.  Three of the four are about the same size, but one of them is just a little bit smaller than the rest, but overall they were all doing fine.

Then the rain came.

It rained so hard during the night on Sunday night, I thought we would float away.  When Todd got up on Sunday morning, he went out to check on his beloved blackberry vines.  The three taller ones were ok, but that 4th one was no where to be found.  It was in trouble.  The heavy rain and storm had washed mud up over the little plant completely covering it.  He reached down to the spot where the plant should have been and smeared some of the mud a little and there they were --- the tender green leaves of the blackberry vine were covered in mud.  He cleaned the mud off the leaves and the pulled the plant up out of the sloppy mess and replanted it, but this time a little higher. 

Sometimes that's what life is like.  We are just happily sitting out in life's garden, thinking we're doing ok, and then a storm comes.  Sometimes its a big storm and when it passes, the mess it leaves behind almost suffocates us.  Then our Jesus comes uncovers us from the mud, cleans us off, and puts us on higher ground so that we can start all over

     "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along."  Psalms 40:2

Sometimes our storms are things we have no control over, but sometimes our storms are things we get caught up in and before we know it, we're covered in mud.  Some of it has just washed up on us and some of it covers us because we have just gotten into a plain old mud fight.  Had Todd not uncovered that plant, cleaned it off, and moved it, the plant probably would have died.  Being covered in mud suffocates the life from within us. 

What's got you all muddy?  Family Strife? Work Relationships? Differences of Opinions with Someone? Broken Friendships? An Unwise Choice?

What's Suffocating Your Life?  No matter what it is, Praise Jesus, He is there waiting for you to cry out so that he can lift you out of the mud, clean you off, and set you on solid groud.  After all, isn't He in the vine dressing business?

Blackberry cobbler anyone?


Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
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