Monday, January 21, 2013

President Obama Inauguration 2013 Ceremony Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Hym...

I literally cried....realizing the prayer that must have gone into the rehearsal of this song...and the faith in the performance. We heard it loud and clear....and thank you for the solumn reminder...HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON. I could see the sincere love that was displayed even in the faces of those singing. Excellence reemed from the randition and the voices. What a stunning unto our Jesus....our LORD...our Savior.  Thank you Cymbala Family for loving and serving the LORD so faithfully to lead this church and the choir that overflows from it....and to those precious members who gave what they could and more to let TRUTH be told even through your faces.  Thank you. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Flower Power...

Jetlag is for the birds - It's this momentary thought that I'm trying to think and type at the same body is resisting! The first time I found the letter "i" all across my screen. The second time "e" lined the page. The third time I realized that I started to type out what I was thinking in my dream - I've erased these from the record to ease your confusion. I just can't do what my body can't do no matter how much gumption I have to do so. In the same way, I can't do what I am unable in my own power.

Why does prayer seem like such a waste? Because I not only think that I can do what is impossible for me to do, but I really don't see a way out of me trying to do it. I don't pray because I see myself as an entity apart from God...someone not really needing God, just wanting what He has to offer.

I have an abnormal amount of energy is what I've been told and resist believing. Yet, I am assured that if enthusiasm could kill in excess, I'd be dead. It's always been something hard for me to contain which has made blending in a difficulty...then He granted me this hairdo! :) But, from God's mountain-top view of true influence and the ability to make change, my energy is like the wind moving the flower. It's not within me that comes the's His breath of reality on my life...though not seen. (I always fear making illustrations instead of just saying Scripture for fear of it leaking in some corner of it's reaching connotations. Please bear with me as I make the effort to be clear on such a magnitude of truth.) I may enjoy the sway (His working in my heart to affect my difference in outlook and change of perspective and even motivation of actions) and the feeling of touching others, speaking into their lives, or giving example or description of His plan of Salvation or better yet...of Who He is (His influence through me), but I must never think I made it happen or that the instigation of it came from my abilities, strengths, or even my arm of reach/influence. Movement never originated in me. It might have been initiated by me to let Him move me, but anything of influence for the Kingdom is powered by Him.

May I "blossom where planted" may be a familiar saying and a beloved perspective on contentment, but I must say, my inability to literally do such a thing is blare-ingly humerously obvious.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Zealand: Concert #1 - Arrived to a gorgeous sunset last night! :)

Supposively I was told that it was going to be at a church that reaches out to people who are mentally ill - even schizophrenic, but along with handicapped, God brought one of the most precious audiences...They were SO hungry! I left Australia physically utterly drained...literally crying on the way to the airport while telling my friends what God had taught me the night before. Prayers have been obviously prayed on my behalf. Tonight was amazing...I had energy as if I had been two weeks into tour...There were tears and the conversations after were so deep and Spirit led. A woman who came up after saying that she hadn't felt that kind of worship since she had been in Israel with believers that prayed and worshipped all the time. She literally said that there was some light around me...Either way...whatever God did I believe He answered and worked in hearts. OH, and KEVIN BANKS from Nashville showed up and ran sound tonight! I'm so blessed that God's brought this friend from home! :) Thank you to all who prayed for me on Sunday....the headache was extreme exhaustion - Literally at 3:12 in the morning I had to get up because the pain was so bad. BUT, God gave me so much: a window seat, popped my ears before the flight, someone offered me HOT WATER :),and allowed me to sleep and rest! :) Praises are flowing freely!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

AUSTRALIA...Update #1 Brisbane and Beachside

I can’t believe that I’m already here and have been for almost a week!! You all have been praying and so I wanted to let you know what God has done this past weekend!


Two days after I arrived I was at a women’s event hours from Brisbane on the Gold Coast. They had a speaker that was supposed to be there and then had cancelled weeks before, a friend of mine (Joy) called the day after and told them about me and without any background, they felt it was from the LORD. I was told that Australians consider Americans very demonstative and in-your-face-talkative – I feared that their impression would only be strengthened by meeting me. But, from the very beginning of the event I noticed that their love for God and depth in Him was mutual and that our hearts would “be as one” as Jesus prayed in John 17. I seriously had no idea how much God would do…tears, understanding, change, clarity…God moved so mightily. I spoke on the Love of God – using various Scriptures and allowing God to take it where I believe and hope He wanted it to. They then had a question and answer time later in the day with me…to my surprise almost all the women stayed and the conversation went deeper than I could have ever expected – some wept throughout parts of it. Australians overall tell me that they don’t open as quickly as Americans – can’t underestimate what God’s work in someone will lead to! J The next morning I had been asked to give the sermon and sing for a church of 200 or so. (I get shocked everytime I’m asked to do that…My place will never be to shepherd, but humbled, I must follow in His boldness if He wills for me to speak/teach- I have to act like I’m not nervous! J). The women from the day before greeted me and prayed with me before I put the headpiece microphone on. The service began with music from Hillsong and Jesus Culture…literally like I was listening to my itunes! J Women then shared what God had done in them the day before at our women’s event…it was humbling to hear how God had taken it to their hearts. Then they had someone come up and talk about this recovery group that took men off the streets that had been on drugs etc. and he challenged people to come to their Friday night prayer meeting – it was challenging evne to me. I spoke on Finding Ourselves in Him (Phil. 3:9). Afterwards they announced that I would be praying for people (willing, but a bit unexpected) after the service…there was a line of people that waited for a good long time, but to hear their hearts and what God had shown them while they shared with tears really makes me even now want to get on my knees to just praise Him. That night I spoke to a church service run by former missionaries to Papua New Ginea about an hour and a half away south called Minden where the musicians didn’t wear shoes and were all teens. I shared for only about 10 min. from Psalm 44 about praising Him for no reason other than who He is. Then I tried to lead them to do so. It was a powerful weekend…thank you for lifting me up. Most mornings I was up studying at 4:30 or 5…


I’m LOVING Australia…It’s much more different than even I expected! They have a whole other dictionary over here I fear! J I’m still trying to keep up… I’ve NOW SEEN A KANGAROO, an EMU, and even a wombat…which is more like a ground-hog than a bat! It’s funny, they really look at the Kangaroo as a pest and like we would look at a deer! They call Americans Yanks (Yankees – they haven’t learned about the Civil War – No worries Mate!) or they have this fun thing that they do with rhyming that they find quite humorous…They call us Yanks rhymes with Tanks so they call us Cepos (Ceptic Tanks) as well…They don’t mean a thing by it…just fun! I’m praying for a translator – Ha! Yesterday I saw my first Kangaroo, Emu, and Wombat…which is more like a ground-hog than a bat! J They have pretty cemented impressions in their minds of what Americans are like…they like us but expect that we will be loud and demonstrative…literally expressive and a little “in-your-face.” Well, my being here is probably not helping replace those impressions in the least bit, Eh? J

BUT, honestly God has allowed the interactions I’ve had to be a bridge to me telling them Truth as God’s laid on my heart somehow. The lady leading the first women’s event came up to tell me that she couldn’t believe how I had got in with the women…– ONLY GOD! I was so blessed to be with them all – I so hope some of them come to visit us in America! J They are a bit more reserved than us overall, but they are some of the most friendly generous people. They love their bakeries, admire their sunsets, have cheese that’s amazing, drink tea like a staple in their diet, have UTE’s (their version of pickup trucks) that they really enjoy, drive on the “other” side of the road and have steering-wheels on the opposite side as well, seem to always have time to chat with each other, have an overall modern style with an Asian-ish influence in the nicer houses, sleep in swags (I’m thinking tents?) at times (I’m hoping to!), and those that know Christ love Him and are thrilled to live boldly for Him overall! Those that don’t know him are sometimes very bold in not wanting to hear about anything to do with “religion” and will make that clear to you many times over OR they will sound like a Christian and then start talking of what the psychic they saw told them that keeps them going.

I found out that New Zealand has SNOW! If you’ve seen “Invictus” the movie, the dance that the rugby players (there’s 3 different types of Rugby – they call it football) from New Zealand do before they play – the New Zealanders learn it in school! J OH, and one of their teams is the Titans and the Broncos! J I wasn’t expecting that, nor did I plan for needing to buy a few extra pieces of clothing! J Everything is ultra expensive…almost double our prices in America. Eggs..can be over 5$.


In an hour, I believe I’ll be going (not speaking or singing most likely) to a Hillsong style service for Inversion age for a large church from Brisbane. Internet is “dodgy” as they would say (not very often etc.) and I just had a “cuppa” (3:00pm tea and “Brickies” (crackers)! I am preparing now for RECHARGE the place I’ll be speaking 4 separate times (4 very differing topics as well) for an engagement that’s for Inversion Age…LOVE IT and I’m so excited! I want to learn and get the pulse before I speak to a much larger audience of them at Recharge. I leave to travel on Friday my time. I’m not used to having time in between engagements, but I’m realizing for this amount and depth in topics…It’s a blessing and necessity! I’ll try to write again next week.

With so much more to say and an email much longer than I have time to edit,

Hungry for more….In His Love, Amy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

AUSTRALIA....I'm HERE! Fortitude Valley...

EVERYONE: Hey Everybody!!

I made it to Brisbane yesterday morning with my luggage, and made it through customs like a knife through butter! J Ha! PRAISE THE LORD!! J Somehow I awoke on the plane only to realize I had slept 10 hours straight – how in the world? J Time with Jesus was tearfully sweet! Got to witness a bit to the guy next to me…I don’t believe he had ears to hear.

Hug and reuniting with Joy Argow was the highlight of the day. picked me up and took me to her family…we then all gathered at the mall for breakfast and I was able to stay up all day (1 hr. nap) and hang with her brother who had internet while she was at work. They treated me like gold! J We were in Ipswitch…In a few hours we’ll be driving into Brisbane, and now I'm in Fortitude Valley - one of the night-club capitals of the world. Here, at a McD's I was sitting here with internet and there were two girls behind me cussing in Jr. High conversation...and then they said they had to study...they were studying the Sermon on the Mount! A rush of memories of what I had just learned at Inversion flashed before my mind!:) I wanted to talk to them, but for a reason other than I know, it seemed not the right time I guess. I'll wait for Joy and then we will drive to the Gold Coast where I will be the speaker for a women’s event tomorrow and then the speaker for the Sunday morning after - to go to another church that night.

My heart is so fully here...I was up at 4AM this morning eager for was like God gave me the first line...running through my head and I had to write...Read in John for one...other places too. I think I could lock myself in a room and study...I just want God's power to work so much while I'm and through my every movement.

As for Australia, It's beautiful and the people are really friendly. G'day! :) They love their bakeries, wi-fi is almost nowhere to be found, they drive on the other side of the car and the "other" side of the road... BIRDs are everywhere...literally, they are beautiful...I feel I'm at a zoo. Ran by goats this morning...they didn't seem to mind! :) Jet lag is a thing of the past...Bring on life here in Australia!!

Love you all, PLEASE pray for God's power to be known in these events...May I not in any way get in the way!! Enamored with the Lord's goodness, Amy J. Stephens

P.S. I was so encouraged by the send-off prayers...and all of you who have emailed me as well...more than you know. I trust Him and can't wait to tell you about all He does!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Inside of me...

I'm not sure how to write what I feel led to say, but I hope that after my saying it, someone through it will be encouraged by my divulging on deeper thoughts and open heart struggles,joys,and curiosity inside me.

I'm not sure what God's doing, and everything in me wants to stop blogging what's on my heart at this momment...everything except for the prompting inside that for some reason (one which I may never know) tells me I must continue to walk in obedience and trust and write.

Facts: It's as if He's trying to push me a mother bird nudges her chicks to fly. The only difference is to everyone else it seems I've already been flying for about 3 years - Speaking and singing - being given opportunity to use my gifts and watching Him work. But in the last several months and then (most intrusively and intricately)in the last couple of weeks, there's been footprints of His working that I can't fully trace, I can only follow onward. I know He's leading me to a new overlook...not that what I'll be doing will be different, but somehow I just sense and honestly know that the wind of His Spirit will be felt and seen as more powerful from that position. In the last couple of weeks I've had random people pray over me. Random from my view but their words over me proved this was no random interaction. They were praying over me things that I never could have told fact a couple of them, I don't even know their names. There's something that happens when you know that someone is touching something raw in the heart that you thought was protected and in pristine condition and health without any effort and with utmost gentleness and love. I would through tears ask Him to remember and remind me of all they were was too much to take in. Then this morning I decided to obey and pursue a direction He had laid on my heart for touring against my self-propelled instinct and initiative to hold my ground and not move till I was more sure of His voice being His voice. :) Difficult to accept, but it's true that if I'm unwilling to act on something He's told me to do is the same as to disobey. Soon after my call of obedience, I checked my facebook just to get back to someone that had wanted to get together. I found a message from a friend from Korea saying only this, "this morinng, you were in my dream... hum interesting yah?! you werew very powerful preacher that i never able to imagin...:) well! i guess i missed you that much or God probably using you that way~! n either way, good to see you somehow hahahaha be blessed." The weird part is that I haven't seen this friend since 2002 and she has never heard me speak...and knows little of what I'm currently doing. Overflow...this time of tears on my part...I even put my sweater I'm wearing over my if to hide - Yeah, I don't we have even a chance of hiding from His sight...and His desire and commitment to move in His will and way.

It started (the people praying over me most prominent on my mind in the last 2 weeks) the night after an event at my church for the Mocha Club. I watched in great delight through my blurring tears as some people had raised money to provide running water for some of the impoverished and helpless friends in Africa. I was moved by their stories but realized that in me was an intensifying pressure (like a gyser getting ready to blow) in me - I'm coming to grips with the very likely possibility that maybe I have seen more than most already in my life-time. These performers were excited enough about one trip to Africa that they put on an entire web-based fund-raiser to help the dream of continuing their mission on a much grander scale! What was I doing with - what could I - should I do with all that He's allowed me to experience? There's more... but how? Get to the root...What was my mission? MY MISSION...MY LIFELONG desire, project, fund-raiser, and every endeavor and ounce of my actions and heart beats to promote JESUS...just Him (and to help people know not just His saving grace but more of WHO He is as treasured in the non-confined but rather truth-consumed, freedom-revealing, and Love-confirming Word of God). Simple? Nowhere close! Overwhelming? My head is barely above water yet I'm somehow breathing just fine. Exciting...I can't sit long enough to write the rest...

Realization: I know that God is working - doing something much bigger in me and about to be through me than I want to know about. I literally find myself wanting to hide under something that is a lot more sturdy than I feel my heart and emotions - who I am - is.

: I am a follower...of CHRIST. I don't follow myself, my own longings, my tendencies, or my pride. I may be tempted and pulled by them at times, but I cannot and will not live my life for me. I refuse to waste what I've been given.
Conclusion: I am much weaker than I ever expected to find in my own strength...I have NONE. I am much stronger when walking in obedience than can be explained as "my doing."
Conclusion: I love HIM. I love HIM. I Love my King. I'm moved to awe...deepening awe of Him everytime I dare to forego business to seek; I dare to turn my dreams into prayers of faith; I dare to leave my way of doing things on the table so that He can show me the banquet He has to include the desires, talents, and gifts He's implanted to produce in me the glory He designed me to reflect and the fruit He is preparing me to bear.

I asked my friend the other day, "You think I'm about to die?" I don't really think that I am, but deep down I wondered...not because I wanted to die, but because I wondered how that this closeness and sweetness with Him could get much greater...if this love of Him grows more every day then how can a human frame contain it? Maybe that's the point...I want to be poured out in love of Him (kind of like a mother-to-be yearns for the painful promise/process of labor). How many stories He gave us of "overflowing." (The widow/ Elisha...and the jars and other stories(I and II Kings), the resurrection power He not only provides but has given us to walk in and with as His own (Eph. 1), the overflowing on grace that we read about countless times in the lives and wanderings of myriads of people called His own, the Ebenezer recounting "Thus far has the LORD helped us (Joshua?), on and on...

So, inside, I fear saying that there's more...that will almost make all that's been done seem completely over-estimated and under-delivered when it comes to the amount of power He's willing to shine forth from wretched vessels such as I am. I am intrigued and the drive within that He's given me will allow me to a minute. But, can I just sit in wide-eyed wonder first? Only I know how much I don't know what I'm doing and how much I am dependent on Him and helpless to produce anything good.

I trust You Lord...You are GOOD and You are my all...You are my provision and MY ALL (did I already say that? There's a reason I repeated it)...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Utterly Helpless...

Nashville had changed clothing. A winter delight of fresh snow had fallen canceling all “have-to” jobs and calendar events for the “instead of” adventures of snow-bound wanna-be survivors. Delighted to experience even a few inches of wonderland, sparks of adventure synapsed alongside the streets as previous bystanders of life were transforming their trashcan lids into sleds and with their imaginations, morphing the hills of the Agricultural Center into destined slopes! ☺ I, on the other hand, was endeavoring to catch a ride from some daring Southwest pilot to head to a conference in Chicago. There was much that happened while there, but before I lose one small treasure somewhere in all my memories, I thought I’d share it with you.

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping.’ Your love, O LORD, supported me.” (Psa. 94:18)

Place: My brother’s 2nd story apt. stairway
Where: Chicago, IL.
Weather: Cold enough for ice, but not…for the moment…snowing.
With: My sister Jennifer, my heavy suitcase I named Hefty, my delicately soft scarf that looks more like a tattered blanket scrap of warmed hues of green, and my imposter snow boots.
Time: Irrelevant…but I could see.
Why: Because God had a lesson to teach me.

The landscape of this story is really irrelevant, the foreground takes over. My face was close to the camera lens of this memory as I tried to get my large suitcase, my purse, my paper (what was I thinking?) bag of newly owned books from the conference down the 2 flights of wooden and patched with ice stairs to the garage. Of course, all of this needed to be done at once. Jennifer followed close and cautiously behind me, but was deterred for a moment while locking the patio door. After turning to go down another flight, I stepped onto a stair and pulled a fourth of the suitcase with me. It was then that I realized that I had no traction under my left foot. The suitcase loomed another fourth of it’s weight on me as my brain quickly switched into second gear depending on my right foot. Unfortunately my plan B was just as unsecure. I don’t remember many times when I have had NO traction, but this was one of the most disconcerting feelings! Not only that, but I didn’t really have my hands…I began to summize how I might fall with the least detriment to my body and found I had no option of how to do so. My feet were both slipping to their respective corners of the stairs, but I was still trying to stand without their help! Balance of emotion, posture, and equaling strength…holding the suitcase, my own body, the things in my left hand and trying to not let the paper bag touch anything wet…it was literally causing an emergency light to resound in my psyche. Not to mention that everytime I looked down I was reminded that the ground was still far below me. There was no way out. I told my sister, but she seemed distant. She was coming cautiously and slower than I reasoned my resolve could hold out for. I was going to fall….there was no stopping me.

Innermost FEELINGS: I experienced for a rare sheer moment what it felt like to be utterly helpless. I was incredibly scared because I had no control – my mind worked, but what my mind told my body wasn’t helping…therefore what held my mind above ground and in conciousness was in seeming grave danger. Everything seemed extreme and all at once I had lost the security that I had expected and taken for granted. I was in the act of slipping – couldn’t reason myself out, couldn’t start over, couldn’t stop the inevitable by anything that I could do….It was all dependent on someone much more in control than I. No one appeared to realize the gravity of the momment…even though I had humbled myself to ask for help which is something I rarely do unless I’ve declared it a state of emergency. Not only that but I was being pushed deeper than I could literally handle by the suitcase which was threatening by my every movement to topple and take me with it. Falling seemed inevitable. Still I tried…still I was slipping. Still I tettered from Plan A to Plan B hoping that a Plan C would surface, but the waters of my creativity were more than murky. Fear had dehibilitated me and I knew that I needed something outside of my control. While all the while, my life hung in the balance…or at least that’s how I felt. THIS WAS AN EMERGENCY!! It I could have yelled without upsetting that balance even more I would have done so….but I couldn’t. The verdict was out…”I was failing and about to fall and I couldn’t figure a way of control!” I was utterly helpless and knew it, I was holding on by a thread to the hope of a way of escape…and in my deepest gut I knew it wouldn’t come from me or any effort I could conjure, any wisdom I could summize, any resolve I could muster to continue trying. I wasn’t enough.

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping.’ Your love, O LORD, supported me.” (Psa. 94:18)

THOUGHTS: I don’t think that this verse is just a verse of the LORD holding my arm and giving my feet a firm place to stand BECAUSE He loves me. Would it be His right hand holding me as a Father would grab a child’s arm alone to keep him from falling? No, I don’t think the fullness of what He’s talking about can be summized as something God did out of love…but rather in love Himself He carried it out. Our imaginations must be stretched thin and then there’s ‘countries’ of depth to still cross over. Your love…GOD IS LOVE…it’s more than just an expression of Him…it’s His entire being. Like a ray of light is unable to sit, our God and King rests unable to not be fully there in loving through any of his shimmers of movement. Can I just say, He loved us just as much – the bright inconclusive inexpressible love alludes and allures us towards more from His being - just as much on His day of rest from creating creation as the day that He created man or the day He created Eve out of man. It would seem that on the 7th day He wasn’t actively loving, but He never ceased from being who He was!
Supported me…Isn’t a picture of rescue only…although rescue may have initiated the first touch. Someone pulling me up is not the total act of being supported. Instead of someone keeping me from falling, I picture instead the act of being held. The one being supported can either rest and snuggle or fight and try to get out and control his own surroundings like a child trying to struggle free from the caress of his parents protection.
But there’s one other point….The psalmist took time to show us that it was in the active tense of realizing He was slipping – WHILE he was slipping – that he found Himself supported. Was it after the fact that he realized he had been supported even though he felt he was desperately helpless? Was it during it that He calmed Himself with the reality of the support of His love having no holes in it’s protection or provision. Was it during it or after it that He remembered the goodness of the LORD? His shepherd was never absent. More profound is this…God’s love enveloped Him and was therefore never absent either because God was with him! Maybe the question is not about when the psalmist realized he was held, but rather the invitation we have to immediately see a reality that we can’t fathom in our minds eye…right now. Whether it's easy for me to picture being supported or if I feel, like the psalmist at many times did, that He is distant, the fact of His omnipresence remains. It’s in the moment of feeling desperately helpless that we find little option other than to rest. It's somehow easier than when we think we have it all together. But in those moments that we feel strong and spiked with independent cruelty to His overwhelming love…in those moments He hasn’t changed who He is either….He’s taking the beating as we struggle to break out of the freedom He offers us into the phasod of our independent security. Oh, if we were to "see" clearly who's in control! TRUTH: We are undeniably without ability to stand on the slippery shroud of self-confidence...and stay standing.

Something like giving into the snow and letting it take you on a ride, I guess. Maybe (like giving into the snow and letting it take you for the ride of your life) it would be better to fall…then we would know what we were putting our confidence in was faulty security and counterfeit comfort, peace, and strength. Yet we wouldn't fall far before realizing we'd hit the Rock Bottom reality...His Love.

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping.’ Your love, O LORD, supported me.” (Psa. 94:18)