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100 Foot Journey

This is a stellar movie!

 

I’m terrible in the kitchen and this movie motivates me something real. {Seriously, maybe this is all in my head but I feel like my culinary skills are getting more polished. HALLELUJAH! }

 

Beyond  the food, this movie speaks of grace and redemption; The tension of two cultures colliding and the beauty of a single act of kindness. Check out the trailer below and add it to your Netflix queue.

 

 

Well, I can’t post this without adding an inspirational dish from a different culture. Try this easy West African Peanut Soup (spice to taste). It’s been perfect for the cooler weather! I was doubtful at first putting it all together but one mouthful, I was sold. Jonathan loved it and so did the boys! PRAISE! {Not recommended if there’s a peanut allergy in the family!}

 

This was found in the doTERRA Living magazine that arrives at our house quarterly. The Winter 2015 mag had soup recipes from around the world using essential oils so I had to try! If you don’t have EOs, feel free to substitute, or better yet, contact me to get your hands on these gems! This is great served over warm rice or with chicken added. Enjoy!

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xo,

Amy's Signature

Gifted Hands

I had a conversation with some girls about the movie ‘Gifted Hands‘ a few weeks back.. They had never heard of Ben Carson.

 

“DUDE, you gotta see this movie!”

 

Ben Carson’s life is the true American dream story. Rags to riches. It’s very thought-provoking  and inspirational.  I’ve been a big fan of Ben Carson for a few years now. The man is brilliant. Humble. Compassionate. Wise. And now, he’s a presidential candidate for the 2016 election. The dude is fascinating.

 

Becoming a Ben Carson fan started back when I was in nursing school. He was the first surgeon to successful separate twins conjoined at the head. Among countless other accolades in the medical field, he’s a best selling author, and has well rounded, yet quite controversial political views that are creating  waves in the media these days.

 

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Gifted Hands  makes me wanna drag my kids to the library every day so they can learn, be educated and through hard work, impact the world around them. I want to be like his mom. What a hardworking woman!

 

If you would like to gather some insight on his background, I would highly recommend this film. It follows his biography quite accurately. His other best selling books about America like “One Nation”, America, the Beautiful” and “Think Big”  are also great reads. Netflix Gifted Hands for the next movie night!

 

xo

The WarRoom

My husband has been in wedding mode lately. He’s officiating two more weddings in the month of September. There’s a lot you can learn about a couple in marriage counseling (and on the dance floor as I teach these newbies their “first dance”.). It’s been a privilege to encourage these young couples for the battle they will face – within their own relationship and against the waves of culture. Marriage is not easy but more than rewarding. A gift from the very hands of God. When we submit to His plan individually, the end result is much greater than anything we could’ve imagined on our own.

 

“Marriage is a lifelong covenant to an imperfect person.” -Pastor Mark Balmer

What an appropriate movie for this season! It’s not a hidden secret that marriage has been under attack. Now, on a much more global level, the establishment of the family and home has been rocked. A sacred covenant union no longer valued as such, which leads to  with another generation of hurting, confused children who only grow up to repeat the same pattern.

 

“No victory ever happened by accident.”
-Miss Clara, WarRoom

 

The WarRoom is all about fighting in marriage…the right way. It’s a different perspective for those who have been  the same exhausting route without getting anywhere. When the Lord fights your battles for you, everything changes. This movie is a hope for the calloused or discouraged as well as a great encouraging faith boost for those who want their relationships to stand the test of time.

 

 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place;and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6

 

Miss Clara’s powerful prayer at the end of the film was incredible. For us personally,  it was a reminder of Jonathan’s mom, Arlene.  Jonathan attributes much of the blessings he has in life due to the grace of God through his mama’s faithful prayers. What a warrior she was! Even praying for the grandkids she never was able to meet, my two sons.  What a legacy she left and a privilege for me to glean from!

 

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

 

If you haven’t seen this film, if you are struggling in your marriage, or if you’re just starting out in the marriage journey, go see this film. The message may change the course of your direction as an individual, a couple or a family or a nation.

 

“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

 

 

And even more than that, marriage is a representation of Christ and the Church.  The Church who fails, and is flawed, and the One who continues to pursue her,  pours out Himself for her unconditionally. He is faithful, longsuffering, slow to anger, rich in love.  Sometimes we just gotta live by His rules and let Him fight our battles for us.  No marriage is perfect but as we commit ourselves to Him and one another, I pray they look more and more like the way He designed it. Building a home, building a life. So different than when we first began.

 

Take courage today, in your marriage, in relationships,  in whatever season you are in. He sees, He hears you, He knows. Cast all those cares on Him because He cares for you.

 

In His Grip,

Amy's Signature

 

Is Heaven For Real?

My midwives told me to be prepared for a fever, the aches and  an emotional breakdown on Day #3 after I gave birth to my son, Jethro.  Day #3 just so happened to be my birthday.

The day came and since I was mentally prepped, the emotional side wasn’t too bad.  The fever, increased pulse/ BP and aches and that crazy blood clot definitely made the day quite memorable.

I told husband Jonathan that all I wanted for my birthday was to watch a movie. But which movie? We don’t watch a ton of TV or movies so we were at a loss as to what our options are .This is the part where we put the responsibility on the other and say, “You pick!” and the game goes back and forth until we end up doing something else instead.

Heaven_Is_for_Real_(Burpo_book)_coverBut I recently saw someone post of FB about Heaven is for Real, the true story about a 4 year old Nebraskan boy, Colton Burpo and his Heaven experience. Backtrack to about two years ago, I was introduced to  the book by my mother in law who RAVED about it for months and handed me a copy. I never got around to reading it until I got sick one day and read the entire book in one sitting, It totally caught me off guard. Fascinating.

The book was amazing. The Burpo family were going through a tremendously difficult period: Financial woes, major physical injuries and setbacks and a host of other problems had pastor Todd Burpo (Colton’s father) struggling with faith –“Where is God in all of this?” Then, 4 year old Colton ruptures his appendix while on a getaway vacation and heads to emergency surgery with death knocking on his door. The doctors said that it was a “miracle” he lived and over the next few months, Colton begins to talk of certain experiences of Heaven. Todd, startled, concerned and amazed begins to search the Scripture and finds these descriptions of Heaven are precisely spot on to what the Bible already reveals. How could this 4 year old know?

The book was so thought provoking and encouraging.  The child-like faith and testimonies of Colton’s description of Heaven were so real, simple and yet awe-inspiring. It’s as if Heaven itself  is right around the corner and not some lofty grandiose idea.

Fast forward and  here we are, watching the Heaven is for Real movie just 3 days after I gave birth. And it was rough… Maybe it was the fact we were adjusting to a newborn and a toddler, an achy postpartum birthday girl or maybe the movie just took a turn for the worst.

Because I read the book, the movie was easier to follow. Overall, it seemed choppy and there wasn’t much character development, that part kinda drives me nuts about any film. But the message of the movie hardly followed the book! It was awful, (or awesome, depending on what side of the coin you are on.) Colton shared his stories, yes, but the overall theme was: “As long as you love others and know that God loves, then Heaven is real and everyone will get there eventually.” The movie depicted the pastor and his congregation as torn between confusing  personal opinions that threatened to divide the church and yet failed to even consider the Scriptures for answers and he was a pastor?!. So. Disappointing.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 2Tim 4:3

If you flip that coin over, there is NO confusion about what Scripture clearly states. Just a little searching and you can find the answers yourself.  So after the movie was over, my pastor-husband jumps outta bed and goes on a rampage about how  many people will watch this movie and believe they are in right standing with God. YES! GOD IS LOVE! He truly is! He obviously went out of His way to rescue us from ourselves. But He is also JUST and there are consequences for our selfishness and rebellion which means SEPARATION from a Holy God which is where REPENTANCE comes in. 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

But if no repentance takes place, let me pose a very uncomfortable question: Is Hell for Real?

If God is Holy and Just can anyone stand before Him?

Romans 3:23 says, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

And let me ask a final question here, If Heaven is for Real, what is the Real way to Heaven?

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one gets to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

I personally wouldn’t recommend this movie because it was so far removed from the ‘based on a true story’ events and ah, I love true stories! Plus the poor acting skills made me want to punch myself in the face. **I might need to see this movie again to get a less postpartum opinion!** BUT if you’d like excellent, awe-inspiring, child-like faith EnCOuRaGmEnT that can open your eyes to what is yet to come for many people,  check out Heaven is for Real, the BoOk.  It truly made me want to draw closer to the LoRd, thank Him for all He’s done for me and anxiously await the day when I meet Him face to face.Heaven_Is_for_Real_(Burpo_book)_cover

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world but to save the world through Him. John 3:16

 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Who has a good movie, a true story that follows a book?

 

Ok, end rant.

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End of the Spear

I love true stories. End of the Spear is one of those challenging stories of the life and legacy of Jim Elliot, a missionary to the savage village in Ecuador.  Wanting these people to know the gospel, he and his four friends spent time building a relationship with the Huaorani people and eventually set up a small camp outside the village some distance away. The tribe turned on them, brutally killing them all.

Elizabeth Elliot (newlywed to Jim along with an infant child) eventually learned the language and lived among the tribe for a few years. Elizabeth mentored one of the tribe’s women, Dayuma,  teaching her the Bible, who then became a huge influence for her tribe. Elizabeth later on in life went on to become a national speaker and writer.

This movie was amazing! How difficult it must have been to forgive a tribe that killed her husband! This story is laced with the power of forgiveness and redemption, and the struggle between self and self-less.  It’s the story of God’s unconditional and reckless love for the most unworthy: “But God demonstrates His own love for us, while we were still sinners, Christ died for the unrighteous.” Romans 5:8

Go see this film.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
― Jim Elliot