Tuesday, January 08, 2013

2013, People.

I've never liked the number 13. I'm not real excited about having to write it every time I scribble the date for the next 12 months. But we're eight days in and I suppose I'm making peace with it. 2012 was just such a nice, round number, don't you think?

We spent the first four days of the New Year in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Passion 2013 (dang you, 13) Conference. Louie Giglio always knocks the last session out of the park and he had me nearly running laps around the Georgia Dome this time. He posed this question after reading Isaiah 61: If God said "This is the year of my favor. What do you want?", what would your answer be? Would it be for the poor, the oppressed, and the lost?

I don't know if I heard anything he said for the next five minutes because I couldn't stop imagining what I would ask God for. So here's a little list, in random order, of the kingdom things I dream about.

*For everything our As Our Own daughters in India need to be provided for them. The capacity for more girls to be rescued out of a future of slavery.

*For a permanent home for Bayou City Fellowship, debt free. We are believing God for a big miracle.

*For a food truck! This is a crazy dream of mine, especially since I'm not really into cooking. I don't know what this would look like, but my city's love language is food. And being a fifth generation Houstonian, I'm like my people. So how can I, and how can my church, serve our city in Jesus' name with a food truck? I'm waiting with great glee for God to speak to me about this.

*For salvation in our city among refugees.

*To be involved in the establishment of a refuge for the broken. This is just a little seed in my heart right now.

And, for fun, if I could ask God for one big, selfish, totally materialistic thing, it would be to wake up in my house with new carpet and new counter tops, and for every room to look put together, yet whimsical. Like the Land of Nod catalog. I might have to take a sedative to live in this room, but I love it so much.

What would you ask for?


Unknown said...

My friend Emily and I laugh about feeling like you and Melissa are our good friends. Creepy, I'm sure from your end. Anyway, I love hearing your heart and dreams.
I work with a campus ministry and dream about going to India to counsel (have my masters in counseling) and love on women just rescued from traffiking - ages 7-17.
Dream of opening a coffee shop/bakery/artgallery here in Knoxville where my church can interact more relationally with hungry or worn out seekers.
Thanks for the challenge.

Holly said...

Funny...completely apart from Louie's question, God asked me JUST THAT about a week ago. I began to think and then I formulated my response this way--for a family that loves and lives and pours out for you. FOR EVERY generation to come to continue strong and steady until Christ comes. It's important to me, since I come from such a broken line. Love yours, too! And praying for each one

Skoots1moM said...

Thank you for supporting Passion, too. I attend your Mom's conferences, and my daughter has seen me come home with much excitement from the insight God gives her...my daughter now has been attending Passion the last two years...so proud of her...she comes home re-stating all the preachers, singers...such a good investment and I ADORE seeing God's Passion on her face. There is NOTHING more important to me than seeing my girl love the Lord...except for my own love for Him. Happy 2013...(I don't like the 13 either, hahahah!)

Jenn said...

beth i love that i was reading this (haha.. i feel like we are all good friends) and looked at the comments and saw your Face how crazy is that! i want to come to your coffeeshop beth! .. and knew it was you and emily my friends talking.. how funny to read your comment before I was going to write yours.

I just wrote a post about what I am dreaming about www.comingaliveministries-jenn.com

Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies said...

On a serious note, I ask that I find a way to better minister to the military community around me. I have a couple ideas, but I am waiting more direction.

On a not-so-serious note, I would ask that my kids' science projects are finished with a minimum of pain and suffering. Or better yet, are magically done all by themselves. Heh.

Love your ideas, Amanda. The food truck? Brilliant.

Unknown said...

You write like your Mom; however, simple, it's authentic and from the heart. You guys (3) are an incredible blessing and inspiration for someone forging anew. I've laughed and cried through many years now with y'all. I think I fell flat on my face when I realized through your Mom that it's not blasphemy to love my dogs almost as much as people and that some of our lives just aren't complete without them.
If I could have anything from God this year it would be that He would redeem my family....my entire family and that my children would have a new heritage in each of us. I would also ask for America to be faithful again. That She would remember her foundation and return to Jesus. Oh the things we could do now as a real time Christian Nation.
I love the food truck idea and am looking forward to hearing how the King works through you and your Mom and your church with that.
I began a nursing home ministry with my kids and their school. We visit and read with the residents. I've learned much about my kids and it means a lot. I want to be a light in this dark world. We would covet your prayers that Grand Cove Nusing Home would be a beacon of light to the heavens in 2013.
Thank you Amanda.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I am so glad to see your face here again. :)

What would I ask for? That question will keep me awake tonight more than that room from Land of Nod. Although I dearly love it as well. I would, personally, decorate my entire world with Pottery Barn Kids, if allowed.

I'm doing the Siesta Memory Challenge this year with a Texan-born, Minnesota-living woman of God. If we stay true to our calling, we are hoping to be in Houston January 2014. Fire up that food truck, Lord. I'm coming for it.

Kelli said...

From our corner of the world (middle east) praying for a MASSIVE movement of the Spirit among the people here. Seeing little bits here and there but know God wants to do something huge. Just wrote a blog entry about the Syrian refugee crisis here- http://pinklaundry-kelli.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-least-of-these.html
and would love help in figuring out how to better use the blog world to raise awareness for the plight of these precious people...

Tara G. said...

That our church family would learn to live and breathe authentic family for one another. We are so excited about the ways God is moving in the church He brought us to.

For my youngest to be given faith to believe; my middle to have the courage to step out obediently; and our oldest to go deeper with her God.

And that God will guide us through another deployment.

Unknown said...

Aviean and a baby. :)

Anonymous said...

Can I get a "whoop whoop" for As Our Own & Passion? :)

I'm glad you blogged again and I hope that you will "be blogging" again. Your blog is the avenue by which God first wrecked my heart for As Our Own in 2011. And it ministers to me as a mom of small kids & a PW.

My husband is running for As Our Own again this year & we are the team captains for Nashville (which is hilarious because we are so NOT runners). Our 7 year old little abolitionist has always been passionate about wanting to end slavery. Last year when we watched the Passion live stream she immediately ran and donated her first tooth fairy money to end slavery, and after we showed her part of the last session this year so she could see where mom & dad had been the past few days, she immediately started raiding her bank again... and hoping more teeth would fall out. lol. When she heard daddy was running for As Our Own again, she wanted to run too. (It's funny because she is a type-A worrywart with so many little things, but when it comes to standing up for the underdog and what's right, it's like God has placed an extra dose of boldness in her heart. She is unwilling to back down). Anyway, since she is too little to run the half-marathon but not too little to make a big difference, we have struck a compromise and are allowing her to run 13 miles cumulatively over the next few months. (We may even try to get a kids' fun-run event going on where we live for the culmination, but we'll see how that pans out. The Nashville kids' run is the day after the half, and a Sunday, so being that we live an hour and a half away & have church obligations, that one would just be a bit too much for us to get to).

ANYWAY, sorry it took me that small novel to say that As Our Own (via your blog) is one means by which my daughter has been able to see how to put convictions to action and Passion has been a means by which God has gripped our college students' hearts as well. For that I am eternally grateful.

Your contribution matters. :)

What would I ask for? Fearlessness in spiritually dark places for all of my family... to carry out whatever God has called us to at any given moment out of complete confidence in Him.

Jennifer said...

Scott's life long dream is to own a snow cone truck. Maybe God can incorporate that into the food truck dream? Just saying...

Anonymous said...

God asked me what I would want too, a few days ago! It must be His heart for the New Year! Personal- Deeper intimacy, find a new intercession group since we moved. Help others with finances, help others get out of debt, help others stay at home or work at home with kids. Start a Bible Study or a gathering for those who were wounded by the church. Give more encouraging words by asking people about their tattoos.
Business- Write an ebook.

Unknown said...

This is crazy, friend. 2012 was the hardest year of our lives, and already, just 9 days into 2013, I'm sensing God's favor and blessing ALL OVER EVERYTHING.

This is such a great idea. I'm asking God for big, big, BIG things too. So much of what you said is part of what I want!! Plus another trip to Cambodia for our family.

Love you! I've missed you!!

Melene@Sing For Joy said...

I'd ask for a job for my husband after he retires from 25 years in the Air Force in May. His heart's desire is to be a Middle School or HS History Teacher.

I have to comment on the number 13. My parents were married on August 13 and divorced after 8 years of marriage. My Mom also said the house number where they lived added up to the number 13 and she never liked it. I said yes to meeting my now husband on a blind date on March 13th. We got married on June 13 ( two years later) and my due date with our first daughter was April 13th. He retires from the Air Force on May 13 in the year 2013. It's a special number for us, without a doubt. :) Also, we tell each other Happy Anniversary on the 13th of every month, not just June 13th. We like to race and see how remembers first. Thanks for writing here again!

The Andlers said...

i'll have to think on my answers to that question, but i just wanted to say that i missed you in 2012 and was so happy to see your post on my list this morning. i should be receiving my third set of baby bangs soon since my third is 6 weeks old today. i'm really looking forward to it (said with sarcasm). just thought i would share!

Mel said...

I would ask for a roommate reunion weekend :)

Dionna said...

Missed you, Amanda. :)

I would ask for God to show us where He wants us. Our family has been praying about moving for 2 years to a warmer climate. And I'd ask that He provide my husband with a great job to support our family, and sell our house.

I'd ask for a steady position with a ministry I believe in who loves others for the Lord. So I can impact people with my writing and feel like I'm making a difference.

I'd ask for good health and safety for my family.

I'd ask for Godly friends for my whole family. To speak into us. Nurture us. Grow us. So that we can go out and do the same.

~ Laurie said...

For my kids to be home from Haiti. It's been almost 3 years since they watched their parents die in the earthquake. I want to see this be the year that they get to come to their new home.

Shelli Littleton said...

On this day, this moment (without giving deep thought), I would ask for my 86 year old grandmother to be pain-free ... here on earth or with Jesus. Amanda, I am watching her slowly go, and she can't take care of herself anymore. My uncle is about to be at the end of what he can do for her. I drive to see her every other week now and love on her like crazy. Osteo-arthritis is killing her with pain. Not much doctors will/can do for her. No prayers are wasted on her. I love her.

And that the whole world could be showered with love, peace, and fun like Disney World! About to head back at the end of this month!

Anonymous said...

I've missed your blogging, Amanda! And I agree about the number 13. Will just have to suffer through this year.

I have so many things on my list, but I would love to do some short-term missions trips this year with my family. We have never gone on one. We have no budget, but I know if God wants us to go, He can make it work!

Bluecastle said...

I have missed you!!
I am just a "lurker", but I love reading about you and your young family.
Have been praying for your new church home.

Love ya,
Penny in New Mexico

JayCee said...

I agree about As Our Own ministry. That's my prayer, as well. I would also pray for all the orphans out there to have a home/family. My greatest prayer is for those who don't know the Lord to come to know Him!!

Barbara Head said...

Amanda, So many of your dreams are my dreams too.
1. A permanent home for BCF, my home church.
2. Freedom from bondage for the orphans of Zambia, Africa. Savannah is building a house for 12 of them.
3. That a revival of proportions that no one has seen in my lifetime. I am fairly up in age.
4. That my grandchildren would live in a country that puts God in the forefront.
I love you sweet Amanda and I love my church.

Adele said...

I'm asking God for clear strategy in terms of growing Compassion's Leadership Development Program in Asia into a much stronger program than it currently is. I'm in the middle of a trip to India, my first of many to this part of the world, and I am VERY encouraged to see God starting to answer my prayer already...

I'm asking God for favor with a great publisher so I can get my book published this year. It's on "Serious Play," embracing life and work as worship, and is the fruit of a most blessed 2012.

I'm asking God for rich relationships in my city (I live in Thailand), especially since one of my closest friends in my city is returning to Austin this year.

But more than anything, I'm asking God to tune my ears to his heart. 2012 was an amazing year for me. I am asking God that 2013 be an even better year for him and I.

(And it was indeed nice to see your post pop up in my reader feed again.)

Cooking Up Faith said...

I love your list! I think I would ask for God's favor of His peace upon everyone. So many of us are letting our fears and doubts rule our actions. I can't imagine if everyone let faith and God's peace rule their actions. The world would change dramatically!

Missy said...

World peace.

And some cute cowboy boots.

Raechel said...

This blessed my heart so much. I loved the question and I think I'll need a few days to really think and pray on that to fully know my answer.

For now, I would pray for my children. That the Lord would grip their parents' hearts firmly - children need parents like this. That they would be shepherded and loved and pointed to Christ more than any other thing.

I would ask the Lord for wisdom in the ministry in which He has placed me. I need it daily. For the whole of 2013 would be lovely. ;)

Most of all, I would ask Him to lift up my eyes - to expand my vision. Thomas Chalmers said, "No matter your vision, it is too small." I know my vision - my passion - is too small for my great God. I want to be a bold dreamer - like you with your food truck :)

Nice to come upon your blog. A reader of mine share the link to this post with me today when she spotted the photo of my daughter's room (the one the Land of Nod came to shoot in October). Perhaps the Lord will bring me to Houston on day in 2013 and I can do in your home what I have had the pleasure and privilege of doing in my own.

Blessings, sister.

Unknown said...

Sister...I love everything about this post. I'm especially believing big things for the House's permanent home, too. I cant's wait to see what God does.

Karen said...

I can just see that food truck in the community near our church, offering food to families in the apartments in the area during the summer and vacation times when these kids really need a meal to take the place of the hot meals they often get at school. See so many other ways this food truck could be used to bless those in our city......eventually more than just one truck.....dreaming big here now.

Shellie Paparazzo said...

Wow! I'm asking for something so small in comparison! All I want is to stay sober. 2012 would have been nicer if I'd been sober. I'm thinking even with the bad luck number maybe 2013 will be better. I'm just afraid to dream big dreams. Expecting big things from God has only caused disappointment for me. I just want to have a chance t get well! Is that too much to ask?! Then maybe I can serve God in the huge ways your family does in serving others so faithfully, but until I'm well, that's not gonna happen.

Margaret Feinberg said...

Praying for you, Amanda. May God reveal himself to you in remarkable ways in the new year.

Lori said...

I would ask for the ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans to be lifted, so that many families can complete the adoption of children they've already met and taken into their hearts forever. I would ask for a revival in Russia that would ultimately change the social climate of that nation, so that fathers would have work, families would function and blind eyes would be opened to the treasure of their own children. Oh, and in the meantime that Christian families around the world would be inspired and equipped to adopt every last one of that nation's 700,000+ orphans, especially the ones with special needs who are truly the least of the "least of these".

katiegfromtennessee said...

Amanda, girl, good to hear from you!:) I am praying that I would be Spirit-filled this year, and go and make disciples as He has commanded me to do. That I would not let my fears and any disobedience get in the way...it is good to hear a little bit about how Bayou City Fellowship is doing, and where He is leading you all next-what He is putting into your hearts to do:) ((HUGS)) to you Amanda!:)

Unknown said...

I have some pretty big kingdom dreams....maybe I'll turn your question into a blog post :) Some of them I can write about, others not so much (yet).

I love dreaming big and asking for that which ONLY God can do.....

So great to have you blogging again - you were missed!

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Praying He gives you that place for BCM to call home...such an exciting time. What would I ask for? The wisdom and renewed vision to know what to ask for.. :)

Kim Safina said...

Blessings always!!!!!!

Tori said...

This has nothing to do with this post, but I just stumbled onto your blog and had to write a post on my own so that I could share something with you- MY BABY BANGS:


I will pray for you, your food truck idea particularly struck me because I live in Portland, a very unchurched city which loves its food trucks. Perhaps there is wisdom somewhere in that idea for us here! I'll be interested to see where that line of prayer and action takes you.

In a related vein, have you seen the episode of "Duck Dynasty" in which Ms. Kay attempts to sell boudin from a food truck? Laughs all around.

God bless,
A New Follower of Your Blog

~Pam~ said...

Hi Amanda,
I hope you are having a good week!
God bless you

Blessing of Adoption welcomes you said...

Hey Amanda :) I really enjoy reading your blog- Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us! When I read your question at the end of this post my heart started beating fast (the excited kind of beating).....You know what I would ask for-
A 6 month Bible Study that was simply reading through the Bible with the intent of praying verses of scripture over your life/your families life/ etc... The format would be such that a Ladies Bible Study could complete it in 1 Bible Study Year (usually running from Sept. - May).
In 2005 I begged God to deliver me from an anxiety disorder that I had had for 10 years- I felt the Holy Spirit nudging my heart to read through my Bible- I spent a year reading through my Bible and underlining every verse I read that talked about fear- next to the verse I would write a prayer begging God to give me the wisdom to walk free from my anxiety- It was more powerful than what I could ever communicate and ultimately lead to a deeper faith and knowledge of our Heavenly Father- I realized that by getting to know the Lord through His Word I did not need to fear......I have been anxiety attack free for 8 years :) Thanks again for the question and for the great post- God Bless you!