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 ♥

Lifeline Ministry

Matthew 14:30
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out “Lord, save me.”


Merriam-Webster defines lifeline as: a line (such as a rope) used for saving or preserving life. Our mission and vision is simply this; to be a lifeline to God. Do you feel lost, tossed about by the waves of the world? Please, reach out to us and we’ll throw you a lifeline to the Man who Walks on Water ♥

Home

The day we said goodbye;
that’s when angels began to cry.
They wept with joy,
for home was their boy.

He stood before our Lord,
and uttered not a word.
Light filled his face;
God welcomed him with an embrace.

“Rest now, my son” Christ whispered,
“and rejoice in the work we’ve done.”
He fell at his feet; and cried
“at last, we finally meet.”

**Dedicated to and Written in Love for David Wayne Smith….may You finally rest in sweet repose as you have earned your wings**

Tiny Piece of Heaven…On Earth

In Ashford, Connecticut sits a bunch of land, some log cabins in one circle, a group of buildings in another circle, with a lake on end and a gigantic swimming pool on the other and all of this is surrounded by woods.   

At least, that is what I thought the first time I stepped onto camp soil for the very first time.  Scared and alone and far away from home, I thought my parents were nuts for sending me away.  To a little seven-year-old, to be gone for a week, felt like forever.   

I can still smell the campfire lit up that very first night under the stars where we got together with our bunk-mates and counselors, learned the camp songs and rules (which were mostly to just have fun), and just finally enjoyed being a kid. 

The Hole in the Wall to many, really is a tiny piece of heaven.  It is a camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses and their siblings (and families to boot).  For just a little while, we do not have to deal with doctors and hospitals and medicine and chemo and appointments and dinner with only one parent because the other one is up at the hospital tending to the sick.  For the parents, they get a step away from the hospital walls and finally can breathe fresh air but for us campers, it really is pretty close to heaven. 

My first night there, one of the counselor’s did not come running out and cheering (as most do).  Instead, she gracefully glided out of the woods wearing this beautiful crown of flowers and playing the most incredible song on the flute.  I have no idea what the song was but when I heard the soft, sweet, yet jovial, music floating through the night air, I knew that Mommy and Dad had, as usual, did something amazing for me.  I do not remember that counselor’s name, only that she was called the “Wood Fairy” and at the end of our sessions, she would give us a little baggie full of “pixie dust” (okay, it was really glitter) so we could carry camp magic all year long.   

I spent many a summer at the camp and even applied to be a junior counselor when I was fifteen.  I have sung on stage at the O.K. Corral, rode a horse, proudly swam the deep end of the pool when I was about 10, fished in the lake, created numerous art projects, nearly burned myself in woodworking, danced the silly camp dances, yelled out “scraper head” loudly and gleefully walked in through the out-door purposefully just to sing “ya ya, shake my bushy tail”. 

Last year was the first time that the camp did not open for the summer and it was held virtually instead.  I cried to my Mom about how it was unfair that kids would not be allowed to experience the camp magic.  “Stupid Covid…some of these kids, this will be their last summer” I wailed and my Mom ever so lovingly reminded that the magic was not in the camp at all.  The magic of camp lies deep in our hearts and if we just dig deep enough, we’ll find that tiny nugget of courage to get up and sing and dance, no matter who is watching. 

In closing, there was a fire recently that pretty much destroyed “downtown Hole in the Wall” and I immediately went into “okay what can I do…how can I help?” and started begging people to donate to help rebuild.  Through generosity and love, the camp’s downtown will be rebuilt and generations of kids from all over, will one day, get to be the “Star of the Show” and create priceless memories for years to come. 

The Mask

This mask is the pits,
and here on our faces it sits.
We are told “six feet apart”,
and this breaks our hearts.

Stay home if your sick,
Ain’t that a kick.
Numbers go up, numbers do down,
Do we smile or frown?

We long to breathe free,
I know it’s not only me.
Our freedom is slipping away,
What else will they take today?