Affirming Those We Lead

One of our personal favorites of Jesus’ leadership qualities was that He affirmed those under His authority. He said to His disciples in the upper room, those who were closest to Him,
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you (John 15:15-16).
What a statement! He affirmed them by calling them friends and emphasizing that He chose them. He then spoke blessing over them, telling them that He chose them for a valuable purpose and calling. He believed with all of His heart that they would succeed in this calling. He then gave them a promise saying that whatever they asked God for in His name, they would receive it! The exciting thing for us as believers is, He was also speaking this over you and me! Jesus believed in His disciples, and He believes in us just as much today because we are also His disciples called to do His will in the earth.
What profound value this example of Christ has to bring God’s love and unity into our homes today! Friend, whoever you lead, one of the most basic, yet important, keys to guiding them to become a success in life is to affirm that you are thankful they are in your life. Then let them know you believe in them, you believe in their future, and you are committed to them. When spouses do this with each other and parents do this with children consistently in their home, it completely transforms a family.
I remember once as a teenager telling my mother about someone who had just found out that they were adopted. The person’s parents evidently didn’t know how to tell him, so they never did, until one day when he was a teenager and he found out another way. When I shared this with my mom, she made the comment that as a parent adoption is not any different than having a baby born to you, so she wished people would just explain this to their kids when they were little.
She then told me a story about one of my siblings who is adopted. She said that when very young, she simply said, “There are three ways that someone can become part of a family. First, you can choose a spouse and marry into a family. That is how I became a part of our family. I chose your Dad and he chose me, and we became a family. Second, you can be born into a family. That means a mom has a baby grow in her tummy and after nine months of being in the mom’s tummy the baby comes out. Sometimes if a mom can’t take care of her baby, she will let a couple adopt the baby because she wants the baby to have a wonderful life with a mom and a dad. That is the third way you can become a part of a family is to be adopted into a family. That means that a mom and dad want to have a child to love of their very own, so they go and choose the baby that they want to be part of their family. That is how you became part of our family. Daddy and I chose you because we wanted you to be part of our family so much, just like Daddy and I chose each other!”
I was amazed at the wisdom in her explaining it this way. I used to work with a woman who explained this in a similar way to her daughter who had been adopted. She said her daughter would come to her every few months and say, “Mommy, tell me the story again about how you and Daddy chose me!” It is important to let children know the truth at a young age so that the emphasis can be placed on the important information. They are chosen, loved, and wanted in the position they have in the family! That is essentially what Jesus was saying to His disciples. I love you! I wanted you as my disciples! I believe in you! I am confident you are going to be a success even after I am gone!
This is pretty amazing when you consider the disciples He had chosen. They didn’t come from any special background, and they didn’t have a theology degree. There was nothing extraordinary about them except that they were willing to be vessels for God to work through. For this reason, they did mighty things to advance God’s kingdom here on earth. Jesus seemed to receive great joy over making something great out of people society considered common. As we have heard our pastor say, “God is a champion at making a somebody out of a nobody.”
We have this same ability Jesus operated in within our own home. We can make a difference to those closest to us by believing in them, no matter what. Showing confidence in someone does amazing things. Shaun often says that when we believe enough in someone’s success, they will eventually become a success. We can change the whole environment in our home just by showing approval and confidence in our family members!
It is rewarding to see someone who was doing average or below average in life with no real goals for their future suddenly experience someone who believes in them. It typically changes everything! Most people like to live up to their leaders’ or loved ones’ expectations when they are spoken to with love and belief. Children and adults standards are raised when they know someone has positive expectancy over them. Hearing things like:

You can do it! I know you can!

I believe in you! You are going to do great!

Way to go! You did a great job!

I am so pleased with you!

Thank you for doing your best!
God’s grace manifested in us can and will give us the ability and knowledge to be an encourager to our family and to others we lead. Being an encourager is not a personality type, but rather it is a choice. Even if you have not been one to verbalize encouragement and approval to those around you, know that God can help you do this! Although it had not been Shaun’s “personality” to be an encourager of others when he was young, as an adult he saw the value in this behavior and determined to learn this good quality. With God’s help he trained himself to do this and is now an excellent encourager to others. If you would like to grow in this area, you can even pray this right now:
Father, I ask You to help me see the best in my family and those I lead. Please help me to voice approval of them and belief in them on a daily basis. I pray that they will experience my love and Your love through me each day in a tangible way. In Jesus name, amen
In Love, 
Pastors Shaun & Amy

Read more

Divine Protection

We are living in a dangerous world, but God doesn’t want us living in fear. Whether it’s being picked on at school, negative media influence, crazy shooters, or even things like car accidents, what can we do to help prevent these things from harming or derailing us or our family from God’s plan for our life? Are we all just helpless and at the mercy of whatever happens in life?
No, there are things we can do to help prevent these things from taking us out of the good plans God has for us. 1 Peter 5:8 says “…the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Notice the key words in this are “seeking whom he may…” This means that not everyone is an open target that the devil can devour. So what causes some people to be open prey, while others have more protection? I believe there are multiple things, but today, let’s talk about one of the biggest ones.  
Lamentations 2:19 says “Pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children.” In other words, “It’s OUR JOB to pray for our kids (as well as ourselves, spouse or family) so they don’t become the devil’s prey.”
Pray daily for your family! I’d highly recommend that you pray protection over your entire family first thing every morning. We don’t want any open doors to the enemy. 
Some of the best prayers to pray are from the Bible. Ever since our oldest child was born 17 years ago, we decided we wanted to speak like over her daily, so every night before bed, we have always said Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 over our kids. We all have it memorized, and it’s part of our bedtime ritual, even to this day we never miss it. We have fun with it! Sometimes, we will even do sit ups and push ups while saying our scriptures.
I also love using Colossians for praying over our family. Especially Colossians 1:9-12 NLT. 
Sometimes I add prayers from the heart like “Thank you Lord for helping our kids to desire and pursue You above all else. Thank you for  protecting our family from all plans of the enemy that we don’t even know about. Lord, you are stronger than anything and anyone. I praise you for protecting us from all evil and deception. I pray a border of protection around our family. Surround us with Your love and faith everywhere we go, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
We all have different challenges to work through at different stages in life. Instead of getting discouraged when we encounter obstacles, thank God for the opportunity to get to pray and learn more. Seek counsel from more experienced prayers who have had success, and most importantly, pray and praise daily!
When we come up against a challenge, we remember Philippians 4:6 that says “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for ALL He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace…
So we go to God and tell Him what we are concerned about and we start praying the solution rather than the problem. We pray for God’s love, faith, protection, grace, and mercy to come on the scene on behalf of our family or whoever we are praying for. Praise God for the right people coming into your loved ones lives that will influence them for good at just the right times. When we focus on God’s ability to help when we pray and that God is able and willing, we will see God doing amazing things that show us His love from heaven. 
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.Psalm 84:11
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Pastor Amy

Read more

Love Better

What is your love language? I’m sure many of you have heard about Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. Have you ever gone on his website to find out what your top love languages are? If not, I’d encourage you and your spouse, kids, friends, or whoever you are closest with, to go on their website and take the short test! It’s simply
This is a great eye opener! When Shaun and I do premarital counseling with couples, we always have them take this test. If a couple doesn’t get the concept of showing love in the way their spouse understands love, or showing love with their kids in the way they understand love, it can make relationships difficult. The five love languages Dr. Chapman shares are touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, and acts of service. I personally believe dessert is a love language, but I suppose that fits under gifts. 
If you have a spouse whose top love language is acts of service, you can tell them “I love you” until you are blue in the face, give them gifts every week, and invest time with them, but if you aren’t physically helping them with acts of service, maybe laundry, cooking or fixing something in the house, then they still won’t feel loved. 
Think of each love language like a different human language. If I only speak English and you only speak French, we are going to have some communication barriers. In the same way, if we try to show our kids, our spouse, or anyone else love in the way that makes us feel loved, we aren’t going to be very successful in that relationship. We have to speak their language. I have seen kids who were being rebellious completely turn around when their parents figured out what their love language was and set a reminder for themselves to meet that love language on a consistent basis.
A friend of ours had a preteen daughter who had not been acting like herself and had started being very irritable with her family and especially her siblings. When our friend prayed about it, she had the thought that she should take her daughter, just the two of them, to a specific fun place that she knew her daughter really liked, and that along with play time there, she should let her daughter pick out some souvenir type gifts and buy them for her. Our friend said that day changed her daughter’s whole attitude at home. She started being nice again to all of her family. My guess is that her daughter has a love language of gifts and quality time and probably had a love bank that had somehow gotten very low with mom and dad’s busy life. This day with just the two of them got her daughter’s love bank replenished and she was able to love others from a full tank again. 
Often kids and even adults don’t know why they aren’t feeling as satisfied in a relationship, and it’s often just that we have stopped doing the things we used to do together (because of the busyness of life) and need to get our priorities back in order. Sometimes we need a day like this mother and daughter for a big overhaul if things have been lacking for a while. 
I believe God’s top love language is giving, because John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He GAVE Jesus, that whoever believes in Him won’t perish, but will have everlasting life! It may be giving someone else a gift on God’s behalf, giving towards His kingdom, or giving God thanks, but remember to give Him honor and respect this month and always too!
I’d encourage you to have all of your family members take the love languages test this week and find out what makes each one of you feel the most loved. Take time to discuss everyone’s love language as a family or even with your friends if you aren’t married. It will help you develop your people skills and improve your relationships in ways you never dreamed possible!
I’ll leave you with the words of Mother Teresa to ponder this week: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Believing God’s best for you! 
Pastors Shaun & Amy

Read more

2021 Vision

Having great relationships in our media-driven culture is like trying to swim upstream. We have to cultivate our relationships on purpose. If we just coast through each day, we will veer towards the flow of disrespect and dishonor that we take in on television and media.
One of the best ways to build intentionality in your home life is to have a vision out in front of yourself and your family. If you have young children, talk with them about your family vision enthusiastically each day. The vision we have in our home for our relationships is “Honor God and Honor Each Other!” I realize that is very simple, but a good vision should be simple! It needs to be something that the 3 or 4 year old in the family can understand and remember as well as everyone else.
We decided to implement this after we moved to Rochester and met some new neighbors. They had two amazing teenage daughters who were extremely polite to their parents and others. They had impeccable people skills, but even more important than this, they had very genuine and sincere hearts of love. Both of the girls babysat for our children and they were amazing. Our kids would beg us to go on dates because their babysitters were so fun!
When we asked our neighbors how they had raised such sweet, kind kids, they told us that in addition to leading a Christian parenting study yearly for the neighborhood to stay refreshed, they also had a family vision and regular family meetings. At these meetings they would talk with the kids about what events were coming up with their family in the next few months and would always talk about the family vision, such as, “How have we succeeded at showing honor to God and each other this month?”
We adopted this idea ourselves and started having occasional family meetings. We talk about things coming up in the future and also about how we have succeeded in honoring God or honoring each other lately.
I would encourage you to put the family vision up in your house somewhere that everyone will see it several times a day, like the front of your fridge.
If you were going to have a family vision like “Honor God, Honor Each Other”, or “Love God, Love Each Other”, I’d encourage you to also put a scripture up with it. One possibility is Romans 12:10, which says, “Be kindly affectionate to one another, with brotherly love; prefer one another in HONOR.”
When we have a relationship vision, it helps to keep our home life on course for success! We keep going back to the vision and it eventually really gets in everyone in the families hearts; even in parents who maybe didn’t come from a respect-filled or loving home.
Our loved ones are God’s gift to us, and with this gift, we have a wonderful opportunity from God to value and nurture them the way God would.
Be blessed!
Pastors Shaun & Amy

Read more

A New Habit

As we celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year, I am reminded that Jesus, through His love, came to give us life and life more abundantly! His goodness allows us to overflow His life and love into the lives of those around us. This time of year also reminds me of the importance of declaring God’s promises through Jesus over our life and family.

I was a little frustrated at the beginning of 2020. I glanced back at my list of ten goals from 2017, 2018 and 2019 that I had hand-written and saved. Each list had some goals with a check mark in front announcing “Victory!” and yet some had an empty box in front, as if wondering why they weren’t one of the winners that year.

To my dismay, four of the ten goals written on all of my prior lists were the same for the past three years — and still had not happened! Did God forget about those? Were they my idea and not God’s? Did I not work hard enough or pray hard enough? Most of them were big goals, but it wasn’t like I was asking for a trip to Mars.

I’ve been told insanity is doing the same thing day in and day out, yet expecting different results. So I knew I had to do something different! Answer: Job 22:28“You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways.”

In 2020, I started a new habit. Instead of just writing down my goals at the beginning of the year like usual, I also voice recorded them on my phone, along with some of my favorite Scriptures and some confessions from Terri Foy’s book Pep Talk. I wasn’t going to simply write them down and read them occasionally this time. I was going to declare them over my life this year and listen to the recording often! (Make sure to look below. I’ve included the Scriptures and declarations from my list if you’d like to use them with your goals!)

I had high hopes of listening to them every morning starting in January. I succeeded at this for about a month, but it quickly became only a couple times a week (except in the summer, when I didn’t listen at all for three or four months). To my amazement, when I picked up my goals again this fall, I noticed that four previously unaccomplished goals (which had not budged an inch in four years) actually manifested this year! Even during a pandemic, national shut down and bad economy! Isn’t it fun to see that God is still God and He is still all about doing the impossible, even when it looks most impossible!

As 2021 approaches, I am definitely going to voice record my goals again for the new year, along with favorite Scriptures and some personal declarations. However, I’m also going to make a couple changes to help insure I follow through with daily listening this time around because I am confident this will bring them about even faster. I am going to make sure my recording is eight minutes or less so I have time each morning to listen to it. Additionally, I’m going to put a little sign on the bathroom mirror that says “Play your goals, Amy!”

Shaun and I are excited to celebrate this beautiful Christmas season with you in December! We feel so very honored to be your pastors and thank God for each of you continually. We pray that your month and year ahead is filled with God’s peace, protection, provision, and perfect plan manifesting in your life! God bless you!
Pastor Amy 

My 2021 Goals Received and Achieved!

  1. ___________________________________________________________________
  2. ___________________________________________________________________
  3. ___________________________________________________________________
  4. ___________________________________________________________________
  5. ___________________________________________________________________
  6. ___________________________________________________________________
  7. ___________________________________________________________________
  8. ___________________________________________________________________
  9. ___________________________________________________________________
  10. ___________________________________________________________________



  1. God’s favor produces supernatural increase and promotion for me. Genesis 39:21
  2. God’s favor produces restoration of everything that the enemy has stolen from me. Exodus 3:21
  3. God’s favor produces honor in the midst of my adversaries. Exodus 11:3
  4. God’s favor produces increased assets for me, especially in the area of real estate. Deuteronomy 33:23
  5. God’s favor produces great victories for me in the midst of great impossibilities. Joshua 11:20
  6. God’s favor produces recognition, even when I seem the least likely to receive it. I Samuel 16:22
  7. God’s favor produces prominence and preferential treatment for me. Esther 2:17
  8. God’s favor produces petitions granted for me, even by ungodly civil authorities. Esther 5:8
  9. God’s favor causes policies, rules, regulations and laws to be changed and reversed to my advantage. Esther 8:5
  10. God’s favor produces battles won which I won’t even fight because God will fight them for me. Psalm 44:3

Psalm 92 NLT (personalized) It is good for me to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good for me to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.

O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever. Your enemies, Lord, will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered.

But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. But I, the godly, will flourish like palm trees and I will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For we are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. I will flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age I will still produce fruit; I will remain vital and green. I will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!

Psalm 112:1-9 NLT Praise the Lord! How joyful am I who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. My children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. We ourselves will be wealthy, and our good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. I am generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. That’s me! I will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. I do not fear bad news; I confidently trust the Lord to care for me. I am confident and fearless and can face my foes triumphantly. I share freely and give generously to those in need. My good deeds will be remembered forever. I will have influence and honor.

Isaiah 11:2-3 & Romans 8:14 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. My delight is in the fear of the Lord, and I shall not judge by the sight of my eyes, nor decide by the hearing of my ears. Instead, I am led by the Spirit of God because I am a child of God.

1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!

Proverbs 31:26 I open my mouth with wisdom, and on my tongue is the law of kindness.

Psalm 56:3-4 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

Malachi 4:2 AMP For you who fear My name [with awe-filled reverence] the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go forward and leap [joyfully] like calves [released] from the stall.

Matthew 6:33 (Personalized) I daily seek the Lord and His way of doing things, I live righteously, and He gives me everything I need.

2 Timothy 1:7 The Lord has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.

Psalm 35:27 Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.

Psalm 65:11-13 NLT You crown our year with a BOUNTIFUL HARVEST; EVEN THE HARD PATHWAYS OVERFLOW WITH ABUNDANCE. The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. We all shout and sing for joy!

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2 Tim. 2:21-22 NLT Keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Colossians 4:12b NLT I pray earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect (mature), fully confident that you are following the whole will of God.

Psalm 133:1&3 CEB Look at how good and pleasing it is when families live together as one! …because it is there that the Lord has commanded the blessing: everlasting life.

PROVERBS 3:13-14 NLT Joyful is the person (me) who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.

  1. I am worthy of love because Jesus made me worthy.
  2. I am a child of God.
  3. I am valuable to God.
  4. Jesus loves me.
  5. I am chosen and anointed by God.
  6. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
  7. I love myself with God’s love.
  8. I respect myself.
  9. I respect others and I am treated with respect and dignity.
  10. I have healthy, fulfilling relationships.
  11. I am committed to God and my family.
  12. I am an encourager.
  13. I treat others the way I want to be treated.
  14. I am quick to listen and slow to speak.
  15. I walk in love and avoid strife at all times.
  16. I am peaceful and I have the peace of God.
  17. I follow the peace of God in my decision making.
  18. I am positive with my words and expressions.
  19. My smile is radiant and touches the hearts of others.
  20. I am merciful and I receive mercy.
  21. I operate in godly wisdom and discernment because I fear the Lord.
  22. I am forgiven and I forgive myself.
  23. I have the courage and wisdom to step out and pursue my dreams.
  24. I think positive thoughts towards myself and others.
  25. The Holy Spirit brings all things to my remembrance.
  26. I am sensitive to God’s voice.
  27. I am highly organized.
  28. I am fearless and confident.
  29. I am beautiful inside and out.
  30. I am healthy and strong.
  31. I am full of energy and enthusiasm.
  32. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
  33. I daily fill my mouth with good things and my youth is renewed like the eagles.
  34. I am in the best shape of my life.
  35. I am fit, firm and muscular.
  36. I am bold and courageous.
  37. I am funny and fun to be around.
  38. I am creative and thoughtful.
  39. I am proactive and plan ahead.
  40. I stay focused on my priorities.
  41. I easily complete and delegate tasks.
  42. I maximize my resources daily.
  43. I work smart, on the right things at the right times.
  44. I am fulfilling 100% of God’s calling on my life.
  45. I confidently walk out my calling day by day.
  46. I dream big dreams and believe that nothing is impossible with God’s help.
  47. I am highly favored with God and man.
  48. I stand before great men and women because of the gifts God has given me.
  49. I have fun doing what God has called me to do.
  50. I am in God’s perfect timing in everything I do.
  51. I am impacting this entire world for Jesus in a unique way.
  52. I am prosperous.
  53. I am divinely protected by God.
  54. I am enjoying a debt-free life.
  55. I am generous.
  56. I am a great problem solver.
  57. I am a genius and the world needs what I have to offer.
  58. I give praise to God daily and I have strong faith.
  59. I easily express gratitude to others.
  60. I am getting better and better, every day in every way.

Read more