Gifts

Psalm 149:3 

Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

1 Peter 4:10-11 (ESV)

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

What are your gifts?  What brings you completely into His presence and fills you with such joy and contentment?

 For me, it is dancing when I worship and writing.  I can be having the worst of days and as soon as I turn and cry out to God “I can’t!” He shows up and reminds me that I can.  I flip on the music (usually KLOVE), and I get to singing and praising and it’s like the world drops away and I’m in the safest, calmest, most peaceful place. 

For others, it may be being on a prayer team.  The Bible says, “wherever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am also”.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve reached out to brothers and sisters in Christ asking them to pray and they get right to work and before I know it, prayers are going up from coast to coast.

Being a preacher is not an easy calling but some those who have that gift, I tip my hat to you and pray for you earnestly.  You have such a passion for Christ and some days being a minister can seem daunting.

Find your gift, nourish it, pray for it, then share it.  Pray for others to find their gifts and to have the courage to share.  Pray for our preachers as they work extremely long hours with little pay and often have a family to lead as well as an entire church.  Pray that they get nourished as much as they nourish us.

My Soldier

My soldier once raised his hand;
swore to protect this land.

He stood tall and proud;
never gave up ground.

Right from the start,
he served with heart.

Once he had his fun,
his time was done.

He became a Vet,
one to honor and celebrate.

Now, he slumbers in the land
where once he raised his hand.

His body lays in the ground;
under the American flag he is found.

My Soldier,
who from the start,
served with heart.

                        –Aly

His Song

He laid it on my heart
to write this song.
With trembling hands,
I picked up the pen.
Lord, what if I get it wrong?

Jesus said,
Pick up the pen
and then…

Sing the song of Him turning the night to day;
Chasing my fears away.
Watch Him fix the wrong,
then sing His song.

Lord, I’m scared.
Why should they care?
Please, help me be strong;
help me sing your song.

Jesus said,
Pick up the pen
and then…

He said this would be tough.
I can never lean on Him enough.
When I give Him my wrong,
Then I can sing His song.

Hearing the Call

I don’t remember the exact date, but shortly after my Dad passed, I had been spending a LOT of time with my online friends. I was spilling my story to a friend, and I realized, “hey I’ve got a testimony”. I felt an urge to write like never before. Earth and the world faded away as I began to type and I felt surrounded by love and by peace.

So, I started writing, and writing, and then guess what…more writing. Then I felt a call to share my testimonies of faith (and I’ve got quite a few). Thus, the birth of Faith Like Mary Ministry.

While Faith Like Mary was short-lived, that ministry allowed me to get my feet wet. God still isn’t done and we’ve now become Lifeline Ministry and our vision and mission is simply to be a lifeline to Jesus.

Much ♥,
Aly

Why Lifeline

After the death of my Father, the Lord laid it on my heart to start a ministry.  Hence, Faith Like Mary was born.  Lately, I’ve been feeling a pull to take the ministry in a new direction.  So, I introduce you to Lifeline Ministry.  Why the name Lifeline?  Merriam-Webster defines a life line as:  a (such as a rope) used for saving or preserving life.  The Lord laid Lifeline on me because of the men and women who were my lifeline to Christ. Gerald A. Bankert (my Father), Alex (my big brother), David Wayne Smith (my childhood Pastor), Ethel “Dolly” Taylor (my adopted Mom), Gloria Ferguson (my Godmother), Laura and Dennis Holland (very dear family friends), and of course Patricia Bankert (my Mother).   

Some of these loved ones now reside in the Father’s presence and are finally getting that sweet, well-deserved rest.  I am blessed to still have some earthly lifelines as well.  They keep me grounded and make sure to hold me accountable in my faith.   

The vision and mission of Lifeline Ministry is to be a lifeline to the Father for those who need a lifeline.  We are not doing anything more than throwing out that life preserver in the prayerful hope to lead you to the One who can calm any storm. 

Much ♥, 

Aly 

Eyes so Blue

She has my hair;
and my skin so fair.
Heart on her sleeve;
some days she handles with ease.

Other days, she feels weepy,
and just a little sleepy.
Eyes of blue;
she sees the world in a different view.

Standing firm on His word
has her feeling free as a bird.
Hand-in-hand with the Father,
they walk together.

On the darkest day;
in the blackest night,
He always finds a way
to keep her eyes, so blue,
Seeing in His view.

♥Aly

Today Our Lord Has Risen(Resurrection Sunday)

Dear Jesus,

Your story did not end,
After you left this Earth.
To pay our ransom to the Devil,
To save us from all evil.

With a heart that started beating,
And breath again back in your lungs.
Your body soon went missing.
Our Lord once dead has risen.

Death could not keep you.
Defeated forevermore.
Conquering back the Kingdom.
Making the Earth God’s Dominion.

Once again,
Since Adam fell,
You came to make a new,
Covenant from God to those that come to you.

By bearing all our sins,
And overcoming death.
Forgiving all our flaws,
And freeing us from the law.

It is no longer from good works,
That people get to Heaven,
But accepting you as Lord,
And the one that we adore.

God made us a New Creation,
When you rose from the grave.
No longer a slave to sin and failure,
When you are our Savior.

Of all that was and is to come.
Bringing Heaven down to Earth,
So God can dwell among us,
Like He did before man broke His trust.

Severing the Connection,
Between Creation and Creator.
You restored what was broken,
Through your Divine Devotion.

To all God’s children,
The siblings of the Risen Lord.
You took our place instead.
Bringing life to what once in sin was dead.

**Written by my friend and Sister-in-Christ Katie Iommi**

A Sacrificial Lamb(Good Friday)

A Sacrificial Lamb,
Is not at all the picture,
The Hebrews did expect,
And most could not accept.

Sentencing you to death,
The man that was just exalted.
Finding fault in all you said and did,
Contrary to what the law forbid.

While fulfilling every Word,
Prophesied about you,
Even those who knew the Torah,
Still put you through the horror.

Death by crucifixion,
After being scourged and mocked.
You allowed it all.
The start of Satan’s fall.

A God turned Man,
Who felt the pain,
More than anyone could imagine.
This is the Passion.

Nothing could have stopped you,
From fulfilling your Father’s will.
“Can you reconcile us back to Him?”
“Just wait for my return.”

You didn’t have to do it.
An army angel you could have called,
To save you from your death.
Instead you offered your last breath,

As the bridge from death to life.
Getting in position,
To fight your biggest foe.
The Devil has to go.

You knew no other way,
To save your people from a greater horror,
Of living an eternity.
Apart from you in glory.

You became a Savior,
That day upon the cross.
Paying the price for everlasting life.
The unblemished lamb was sacrificed.

**Written by my new friend and Sister-in-Christ Katie Iommi**

Preparing for Your Death(Holy Thursday)

You needed to prepare,
Yourself and others for your death.
Knowing the hour was near.
Fighting back the fear.

You ate with those you loved,
One last time before you died.
Teaching them how to remember,
Your sacrifice forever.

Take this bread and eat.
Take this cup and drink.
Your body broken for all of us,
Your blood to be spilled out on the cross.

During your Last Super,
You revealed it to your people,
That someone would betray,
You in every way.

Judas left the table,
To sell you to those,
Entrusted with the laws,
That told them you were flawed.

For healing on the Sabbath,
Proclaiming you are God,
Ministering to sinners,
And preaching unhindered.

You retreated to the Garden,
To pray to Father God,
With tears flowing from your eyes,
Asking for this cup to pass three times.

Not your will,
But God’s be done,
No time to back out now,
Here comes the crowd.

Led by Judas Iscariot,
The disciple that betrayed you,
For thirty pieces of silver
,Into enemy hands he would deliver.

The unblemished Son of the Father.
Fully Human and fully God.
To a fate you did not deserve,
By a sentence unjustly served.

**Written by my new friend and Sister-in-Christ Katie Iommi**

Fire

Psalm 66: 10-12
10. For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
11. You brought us into the net; You had affliction on our backs.
12. You have caused men to ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.

Let’s think about fire. First, it is an oxymoron because it can save a life or destroy a life. Fire is used in cooking, heating, cook-outs, camping and so on. When that saving fire becomes out of control it takes homes, cares, lives, etc.

Let’s dig deeper. Let’s talk Spiritual fires. You have your “good” fires (new job, roof over your head, decent car, happy marriage, the list seems endless). When you have your “bad” fires, that list seems endless too. We grieve, we cry, we get divorced, we lose jobs and homes, and on and on it seems to go.

How do we get the “bad” fires under control and keep the “good” fires raging? Why, I call on the greatest “fire-fighter” of all-time, Jesus.

Isaiah 43:2 says when you pass through waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

We have all walked through spiritual fires (the ones designed to break our very souls) but it is how and who we walk through that fire with, that makes all the difference. If you would like the know more about the “Fire-fighter” named Jesus, please message me any time via Facebook.
-Aly ♥