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Amy Leah Magaw is a born-again author and freelance writer with a passion for writing country-fried Christian romance, creative non-fiction, poetry, and inspirational short stories. A mother of two active teenagers, Amy spends her days teaching middle and high school—and loving it. She spends her nights escaping to her world of writing she affectionately calls, “The Oasis.” She is available for speaking at Ladies’ Conferences and meeting your freelance writing needs.  To learn more about Amy’s writings, visit her blog at www.AmyLMagaw.com, or email Amy at AmyLMagaw@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SMARTIES!!!!!

     I just love those little candies that look like baby aspirins-SMARTIES!!!!  Our church has a vendor booth inside of the Sumter County (SC) Civic Center this week during the Sumter County Fair.  We've been able to hand out Gospel tracts to people attending the fair-trying to get the Word out about Jesus! 
     We have special cartoon childrens' tracts there and some Sunday School papers that we hand out to the children, but every child (and some adults) also get a roll of SMARTIES!!!!  I remember as a child eating the SMARTIES!!!! and calling them "my medicine."  I know that's silly, but it's a valid memory!
     Anyway, the candies don't look like they amount to much, but they sure are sweet.  I had an unexpected blessing today.  As many of you know, I have returned to college for my official teacher certification; and you know me, I do everything the hard way.  I drive two hours once a week for face-to-face Education class (and once every other week on Monday's for the Math class.)  This first
eight-weeks mini-mester has been tough, but we are on week six already.  I can hardly believe it!  The bummer about all of this is that the classes have all been on Wednesday nights.  So the preacher's wife has been out of church for the past five weeks...Hmmmm!
     Well, I addressed the issue with one of my advisers, and come to find out, there were others in my class who also had to step out of ministries in their church on Wednesday nights to be able to attend class.  So, today we received emails that they changed the classes from Wednesdays to Tuesdays for the next eight weeks!  What a surprise blessing!  This has been a hard time for me-I am still seeking formal employment while attempting to write and excel in my classes; I had all but accepted the fact that I would be out of church on Wednesday nights for the next year!  But, praise the Lord for the sweet surprise that I received today.  It may not look like much to some people, but much like my SMARTIES!!!! it sure sweetened my day! 
     Keep praying for me as I try to serve the Lord through writing His stories!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

That Filthy Residue!

Mark 16:12-13

(12) After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

(13) And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.


I hate cleaning the master bathroom shower.  I have to scrub, and scrub, and scrub, and scrub, and it's just soooooo gross!  I can never get rid of the soap residue! 

My husband, Pastor Brian Magaw, was preaching one Sunday night in the book Mark.  He had been preaching a series of messages, going straight through the book.  Well, one word in verse 13 really jumped out at me: residue!

Now, I realize that in the Biblical context here, it means the followers of Christ who had not turned their backs on Him.  But, the more that I thought about that group of people, and the "residue" of Christians that exists today, and that awful soap scum in the bottom of my shower, the more I could see that we have in common! 

'Ugh, Mrs. Amy!  I know you aren't comparing us to soap scum, are you?' I know this is what you're thinking, but, just hang on!  I think you'll be surprised!

First of all, soap scum does not just appear overnight, in most cases.  It is built up over a process of many showers washing away dirt, grease, dead skin follicles, etc.  What doesn't get washed down the drain, clings to the sides of the shower walls and just refuses to leave.  What determines which bits of dirt, grease, and dead skin escapes the demise of the drain, is unknown-but the fact remains that not all of it gets washed away. 

The Holy Spirit is no respecter of persons.  The Bible tells us in Acts 2:21, "...that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

It is only by His grace and mercy that any of us, dead in sin, have been given eternal life and have escaped the drain of hell.  Praise the Lord.

I often find myself comparing our church to other larger churches and being envious that we are so small.  But, then I can look at the people that we have-and they are so faithful.  It has taken a while to build up, just like the soap scum in the shower, but they're are still there-faithfully hanging on.

Ok. Back to the residue-here's Webster's definition of the word:

"residue" : something that remains after a part is taken, separated, or designated or after the completion of a process

The text in Mark talks about after Jesus has died, has been buried, has bodily risen, and is now being seen among several people.  These people have come to the "residue" of disciples and other believers whose world has just been turned upside down.

I love how the definition about says after the "completion" of the process.  Praise the Lord Jesus will never have to die again for our sins.  When He said, "It is finished," it was just that-FINISHED!
(that was free :) )

The disciples had really been through a "tough scrubbing".  They had just seen Jesus be tortured, killed, and buried-very quickly, really, in the course of just a few days.  But, they were still there.  They were pretty hard to get rid off-just like soap scum!

There will be many trials that will come our way, and you will want to quit.  You'll want to just go with the flow.  But keep clinging to the white walls of the shower.  We don't deserve to be there, but we've gotta just keep clinging to the Saviour.  Keep staying by the stuff! 

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."   (II Timothy 1:12)

Jesus is able to keep us safe, no matter how hard the devil tries to scrub us off.  Don't be ashamed...

BE PROUD TO BE SPIRITUAL SOAP SCUM!!!!




 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Don't Resist-Persist, Part IV

Ok.  This has been one of the longest "serial posts" that I've ever done!  So, this will be the last installment of the "Don't Resist-Persist!" series.

Let's review:

P if for Prayer
E is for Edification or Encouragement
R is for Reading (your Bible and your school assignments!)
S is for Study

I is for Insist on the Best!

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says,

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;"

Whatever the task that the Lord sets before us we should give it 110%!  God doesn't do anything half-way!  Think about Salvation!  Jesus had to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, die on the cross, be buried, and rise again for our Salvation to be complete.  It wasn't in Him to fail because He was 100% God and 100% man.  Do our peanut brains comprehend this?  Nope!  But, we have to believe it..  That's where faith comes in!  But, we do fail God-everyday.  But, as a rule to live by, we should always strive to give God everything we've got for everything that we do.  He gave His best for us!

S is for Search!

Psalm 139:23-24 says,
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if  there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

We can't have fellowship with the Lord if there's sin in our lives.  We have to get daily cleansing because of our human natures. 

Here's some honesty for you.  Recently we had to close our Christian school-the Lord closed the door.  And I've been mad at Him about it since.  Until yesterday.  I know that God had His reasons, but the way I saw it was that He took my ministry from me.  I miss the kids.  And even though a lot of people helped with the school, and I was thankful for it, no one put as much labor and love into it than I did.  I had even gone back to college just for the school-to make it easier for our school to be accredited! And now I'm unemployed!

Yesterday, I realized that I needed God's help and fellowship more than I needed to be mad at Him.  So, I asked the Lord to forgive me for my sin of anger towards him, and to please help me to focus on what I do have.  I am saved; I have a wonderful husband, children, and family.  I have a GREAT Christian Romance Ministry (don't you think ! :) ) and I'm really excited about where is going to take that!

I'm continuing with the college classes, because the deadline has passed to drop and I can't afford to pay back the grants! And Teacher Certification never hurt anyone, right?

So, don't forget to take the time to be alone with the Lord everyday! It's important!

and lastly...

T is for Thank others for helping you!

Romans 14:7 says,

"For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself."

I am so guilty of this-thinking that my life is a one-woman-show!  I try to tackle everything by myself.  But, I've learned that I can't do it all by myself-and if you're honest with yourself, you'll find that you can do it all either!  So, take a moment either by phone call, email, text, tweet or post to thank someone for something that they've done for you.  Especially if it's praying for you-that's the most powerful thing that anyone can do for you.

My sister Marcie has been sick for the past two weeks, and when I spoke to the on the phone a few days ago, she said that she'd been praying for me and my family through this time of trial.  I felt so ashamed, because I hadn't taken as much as a minute to stop and pray for others because I was too busy pouting about my situation.  I love her dearly, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for praying for me.

Yesterday after the morning service at church, I was still out of sorts with the Lord, and had spent most of  Sunday School still taking down the decor from the walls of my classroom (our church building has been pulling double duty as the school also for the past two years).  Anyways, my brother Gary just about tackled me and told me to put my stuff down, and he grabbed me in a hug that I really needed.  I cried and cried.  He knew that I was still heartbroken.  He told me how proud he was of me, and that everything was going to be alright.  You just can't put a price on that.  Thank you, Gary-I love you!

And thank you, God, for sending them my way!


So, in conclusion, here's how to PERSIST:

Pray
Edify or Encourage
Read (the Bible & your assignments)
Study (make the time!)
Insist on the best-Give 100%
Search your heart and confess your sin
Thank others for helping you-And Thank God for sending them your way!

Have a great week, and pray that I can get back to my writing soon-maybe as part of my homework!