Salt & Light

When we invite Jesus into our life, God’s grace comes on the scene to help us at a whole new level. Our desires begin to change. We set our “…mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). I remember when I asked Jesus into my heart at age fourteen. I suddenly had an unusual desire to start getting up fifteen minutes early each morning to read the Bible before getting ready for school. No one ever taught me to do this. God just put the desire in me, and I responded.

When I learned new things from God’s Word, I started doing them. Over time, I started to see God’s hand on my life in ways I never expected. I remember one day in my early twenties. I had a business appointment scheduled with a young woman. When I met with her, we began talking about the business as planned. Then right in the middle of the conversation, the young woman looked at me with wide eyes and blurted out, “I need to get my life right with God!”
It turned out the young lady had become distracted from her relationship with God years earlier and even used to attend the same church as us. God was able to reach her heart through this meeting together and the young woman got her life reconnected with Him.

Jesus told us as believers, we are to be the salt and light of the world. (See Matthew 5:13-14.) He instructed us to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). I never even mentioned God to the young lady, but when we keep an open heart to serve Him in whatever opportunity may arise, He’s able to work through us!




You may be thinking to yourself right now, “I used to be excited about God, but somewhere along the road I just lost my enthusiasm. I still call myself a Christian, but quite frankly, worldly things are more exciting to me than following God.” Well, friend, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can be more excited about your relationship with God, thirty years after making this commitment than you were the day you gave your life to Him. This applies to marriage as well.
People often think when they’ve been married for many years it won’t be as exciting, and the honeymoon eventually goes out the window for everyone. This doesn’t have to be true for you! We know couples married twenty, thirty, and forty years who are more excited about their marriage now than they were on their honeymoon. They have better communication, better physical intimacy, more fun together, more affection, and an overall greater bond than when they first married. God never intends for us to backslide in our relationship with Him, and He also doesn’t intend for us to backslide in our enjoyment of the marriage relationship He created between husband and wife.
What can you do if you’ve fallen into a lack of desire for the things of God? This can often be traced back to a time when we disobeyed God’s direction or didn’t follow doing what we knew in our hearts was the right thing to do. The Bible says in 1 John 3:20-21 that our own heart condemns us. When our heart condemns us, it’s not God being mad at us. It’s basically our heart convicting us after we’ve done something to step back from close relationship with our loving Father. All we need to do is apologize to God for not following His love, then our heart will become confident in His presence again.
When someone chooses to ignore His Word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, they dull themselves to the voice of God on the inside. Then the next time the Holy Spirit says something, it becomes a little bit harder to hear with our spiritual ears. As a person disobeys more and more, they eventually come to a place where the things of God just aren’t exciting to them anymore. They feel like they never hear from God, and it’s often because they have tuned Him out through ignoring Him.
We cannot selectively choose what we are going to obey or not obey with God’s Word if we want to walk in His blessing and receive His direction. If this has been true for you, you can simply ask God to forgive you for not listening and choose to have a yielded heart to Him from now on. Then turn to His Word again, and you will receive direction and guidance.
I pray this blessed you, 
Pastor Amy

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From the Bleachers to the Team

Scripture actually says Jesus is in heaven right now preparing a place for those who will receive Him. It even says He’s building mansions for us and the streets are paved with gold! (See John 14:2 and Revelation 21:21.) He knows all of the desires in your heart, so whatever you like, He will make sure you get it in your home up there! If you prefer a log cabin style, I’m guessing He’s got amazing cabin mansions up there. If you like beach homes, you’ll have the most stunning one you’ve ever seen. God desires to lavish His love on you for eternity! You are his heart’s desire!

If you have never asked Jesus into your heart, all you do is ask Him to forgive your sins, and invite Him into your life. He will help you to love yourself and love others. Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” You can even pray this right now:


Dear God, I believe in my heart that Jesus is Your Son. He died on the cross for me, and You raised Him from the dead. Jesus, please forgive me. I invite You into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. Please make Yourself real to me and help me live for You. Amen.


If you prayed this from your heart, your name has now been written as a citizen of heaven according to the Bible. Scripture says angels are rejoicing over your soul. When you pass on from this earth someday, you now have the promise of eternity in Heaven with Jesus and all of God’s family!

It’s up to us to make the choice to receive Jesus and to be a vessel of God’s honor. According to 2 Timothy 2:20-22,


In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


God’s holiness comes to live in us when we invite Jesus into our heart. (See 1 Corinthians 6:19.) Since we as believers have been made a temple (a house) for God’s Holy Spirit, we can now live through His strength. Instead of conforming to the way everyone else acts, we can transform our heart and mind each day through His Word.


We have a friend who is a great example of this! We will call her Jane. She grew up in a home where she and her siblings were continually devalued through deep criticism from their father. Then her mother passed on when she was eighteen.
Jane told us she used to suffer from depression and anxiety so intense that she would get huge welts all over her body. Doctors prescribed medications, and psychiatrists tried to help her resolve her pain, but nothing helped.
Then one day a friend gave her a magazine which talked about the love and power of Jesus like nothing she had ever heard before. She committed to make Jesus the leader of her life, rather than just an acquaintance on Sunday mornings. Or you could say, she moved from the bleachers to actually being on the team. She dug into His Word and began applying what it said. She chose to stop believing the lies she had been told all of her life, saying she wasn’t good enough. Instead, she came to believe in who God says she is.

When she chose to believe God’s love, she started having breakthroughs! She stopped believing she was a failure and started believing she had a new life in Christ. The depression left when she refused to entertain those old thoughts, the welts on her body disappeared, and her relationships improved immensely!


Jane has become the woman God called her to be and is now fulfilling her God-given destiny. She is a great wife, mother, and friend who is uplifting, confident, and trustworthy. Through the help of God, she changed what she believed about herself in her heart. King Solomon stated it perfectly when he said, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). When we allow God to heal our own heart, we can then be a minister of His healing to those around us.


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Fully Restored

I remember when one of my Bible college professors opened our first class of the year with a glass jar in his hands. He told the class that the jar was symbolic of the glory of God. He began to describe in great detail how perfect things were in the Garden of Eden. The class was completely quiet as we heard him elaborate on the glorious serenity Adam and Eve experienced daily.
Suddenly, he picked up a hammer and shattered the glass. Shards flew everywhere! He then expressed with deep compassion how the glory of God was shattered from mankind. He asked, “Have you ever met someone who is a little rough around the edge?” as he pointed to the sharp glass fragment still in his hand. Then he picked up more pieces off the floor and remarked, “Have you ever met someone who is edgy and impatient with people? Have you known someone who cuts others down with their words, always finding fault?”
Since sin entered the world with the fall of man, it doesn’t take long to look and see what this professor was illustrating. The more someone has experienced sin, the more they typically develop a sharpness and anger toward people. Whether a person is watching sin through media or experiencing it personally, it is like someone is taking the person’s heart each time and pouring sludge into it. The more sludge the heart is filled with, the more the enemy is able to work through a person to try to destroy them and those around them.
Even though God’s glory and perfection were all shattered in the life of man through sin, Jesus came and made a way for God’s glory to be fully restored in us when we choose to receive and walk with Him. Since we still live in a fallen world, how can we love others from a pure heart like Jesus loves us?
This is a question many people have had. Occasionally when we share the love of God with someone and invite him or her to accept Jesus, they may say, “Oh, I can’t do that! I’m too big of a sinner. I could never live my life right, the way I would have to in order to be a Christian.” Or they may say, “I think God is mad at me. He wouldn’t want me after all I’ve done.” What these people are really saying is, “I know God is holy and I also know in my own strength and ability I have major imperfections, so I don’t think He would want anything to do with me.”
The reality is, God gets great pleasure in taking someone the world considers a failure and making them into a great success! He enjoys showing Himself strong in the life of anyone who will look to Him for help. God loves people! It makes no difference to Him who we are or how bad we are failing. But remember, God is a true gentleman. He doesn’t force His love or ways on anyone. He patiently waits for us to give Him an invitation to our party. When He gets an invitation, watch out! He shows up quickly and He always brings presents! He’s always ready and waiting to freely impart His grace, love, and wisdom into anyone’s life who will call on Him.
Let’s look at how we can simply receive His goodness or you could say His “holiness” in our own heart. When we looked up holiness, one description we found says, “The holy people of God are called to holy living precisely because they have been made holy in Christ. Not as a means to that holiness.”Therefore, holiness is not something we earn, but rather something we receive. The Bible tells us that God alone is holy. (See Revelation 15:4.) Therefore, we can only be holy as He is holy through having a relationship with Him and receiving this by faith. It sounds deep, but it really is simple.
When we enter into this relationship by repenting of our sins and asking Jesus to be the leader of our life, we freely become partakers of His goodness. In other words, His holiness is a gift when we invite Jesus into our heart. As a result of His holiness living in us, we have the power to daily make the choice to live our life for Him.

I pray God reveals His goodness to you in a fresh new way, 

Pastor Shaun 

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We Reap what we Sow

When God created our world, He put into place a spiritual law called the law of sowing and reaping. We will reap what we sow, as we mentioned previously. Another way to say it is, what we give out (good or bad) eventually comes back to us over time.

This law applies to spiritual, emotional, and physical matters. A farmer sows cotton seed in the ground and eventually reaps a harvest of cotton. A person sows financially into a ministry, church, or missions they support, and God provides through multiple avenues to give them more to sow. A person sows their time and energy into reading Scripture and they reap the fruit of faith, wisdom, and understanding which directs their life into victory here on earth and for eternity.


Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:7-9 NIV)


If we yield ourselves to God’s Holy Spirit daily through sowing into prayer time (unity practice), we open the door for God to personally start dumping His bucket of grace and mercy on our relationship over time. We can almost see Paul jumping up on a table here to get his point across and fervently shouting, “Don’t give up! Keep sowing to the Spirit! Keep seeking God and declaring His promises! Keep praying!”

In other words, don’t practice spiritual unity for a week or two and then forget about it. Strong physical muscles are built by us holding to our work-out routine, then continuing to maintain it in order to remain strong. Likewise, we build strong spiritual unity through consistent, daily effort which results in a lifelong bond, if we hold firm to it.

A Gallop Poll done by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement showed the divorce rate among couples who pray together regularly is 1 out of every 1,152. If we can make our odds of divorce less than 1%, why wouldn’t we? According to an article in Redbook magazine, a University of Chicago survey on married couples revealed, “75 percent of the Americans who pray with their spouses reported that their marriages are “very happy” (compared to 57 percent of those who don’t). Those who pray together are also more likely to say they respect each other, discuss their marriage together, and — stop the presses — rate their spouses as skilled lovers.”

We started praying together each morning about six months into our first year of marriage. Couple prayer time wasn’t something we ever planned to do, but it has unquestionably been a life-altering experience for us! It was introduced to us as more of a challenge.

Shortly after getting married, our wonderfully wise pastor kindly asked the whole church if we would all be willing to sign up for a one-hour period in the day where we would commit to praying for the ministries and people of the church, as well as our nation, for 30 days. We thought it sounded like a noble cause to dedicate an hour to daily, so we jumped on board. After the month was over, we decided to keep praying together for at least 15 minutes each morning.

We really don’t know where we would be without this. It doesn’t remove all conflicts or challenges in life, but it definitely has connected us more than anything else and has helped us navigate through many of life’s storms. If you and your spouse currently pray alone, why not draw another leap closer to God and each other by adding couple prayer?

Matthew 6:33 encourages us to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When we give God first place in our relationship, He will add His grace and power to our union in ways we couldn’t even imagine. We have found the more years we pray together, the more we grow in love and respect. We enjoy our relationship more now than when we were first married.

Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another” (John 13:35). Putting God first strengthens us to walk in love at home and have peace with those closest to us. By this the world will see we love each other. Is it true a marriage that prays together stays together? It sure has worked for us! Will it work for you? Why not take the challenge and see what happens?


Can’t wait to hear how God moves in and through your relationships, 

Pastors Shaun & Amy 

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How do we pray together?

During our prayer time we thank God for His goodness and we also make our requests to God with thanks. (See Philippians 4:6.) Daily prayer together should most often be a time of joy and praise, which builds an atmosphere of peace in our home.

There are several suggestions we make for couple prayer time. We recommend making time together in the morning if at all possible. Praying together while still snuggled in bed is wonderful because it bonds you spiritually as well as meeting each other’s need for affection. 

Another possibility is to take a walk together holding hands and praying. It will set you both on the same page when you communicate throughout the day, as well as when obstacles may arise. If morning isn’t feasible, we encourage you to pray together as soon as you can.

We also recommend that husband and wife each take turns, going back and forth praying for anything that comes up in your hearts. Some of the things we typically cover in our prayer times are:


  • Gratitude for things that come to mind
  • Prayer for each other’s day
  • Prayer for the family’s protection and wisdom
  • Prayer for extended family
  • Prayer for those in authority and leadership: President, nation, military, pastor, and employer
  • Prayer for our church and the marriages God puts on our heart


There are some alerts we do want to give you about couple prayer. First, remember not to criticize each other! We once had a couple say to us, “This prayer together thing just doesn’t work.” When we probed as to why, we found out they ended up fighting like cats and dogs every time because they would pray for the other one to grow up or change in whatever areas they felt they didn’t measure up! Correction is not the goal here, friends! We should leave our prayer time together feeling encouraged and built-up!

Second, remember to edify each other’s families in prayer. Prayer for one another’s extended family should be done oozing with kindness and love. When we pray for our spouse’s family in a positive way, thanking God to help them and meet their needs, we will begin to look at our spouse’s family as our own. Pray blessing upon them, even if they are difficult! When this happens and your spouse hears you valuing their family, it builds trust.

Third, know sometimes couples feel awkward when they first begin to pray together. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle when you were a kid. Sometimes it was difficult to get up and moving, but you eventually learned to balance and maybe even impress the other neighbor kids with some stunts! This is how it’s supposed to be with unified prayer (okay, maybe not the stunt part). Just remember, don’t give up! Practice for short periods of time and be patient with each another!

As we learn to pray together, we will grow in God’s kind of love. 1 Corinthians 13:5 states, “[Love] does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil…” Paraphrased, this basically means, none of us are perfect, so be patient and kind with each other while we all grow in our walk with God! It means choose to believe your spouse is trying their best and encourage them when they pray.

This is what we were talking about earlier when we compared unified prayer to a tennis doubles team practicing daily. When we make the effort to get ourselves unified in the small things like daily prayer, trials are so much easier to overcome!

If you and your spouse have had challenges with prayer together, don’t be discouraged. Just start by thanking God together each day for the good things He has done in your life and in the lives of those around you. Focus on God’s goodness!

We believe in you and are cheering you on! 

Pastors Shaun & Amy 

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