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?


Blessings,

My name is Amanda-Lyn (Aly), and I am the founder of Faith Like Mary Ministry.  I currently reside in Worcester, MA.  My husband and I have 3 boys, and both work full-time jobs.  We are blessed to be surrounded by loved ones.  My prayer is to take Faith Like Mary Ministry from my computer to around the world.  Our verse is Luke 1:46 “and Mary said, my soul doth magnify the Lord”.  I started this ministry as a Facebook page.  Originally, I thought the Facebook page would be it.  Then God laid it on my heart to get my stories of faith out into the world and share His grace and mercy with others.  And so, the Faith Like Mary Blog was born.  This ministry will be geared toward women ((sorry fellas)).  It will be used to empower women in their faith and in their personal walk with Christ.

I would like to tell you a little of how Faith Like Mary got its inspiration.  I was listening to a song sung by Francesca Batistelli called Be Born in Me.  The song is about Mary accepting to be the mother of God without question, in absolute faith.  And she was just a teenager.  At 14, I was just starting figure out this thing called life.  After my father’s passing, I thought about him and how much he loved to witness from his computer, and I got to thinking about all the souls my Dad reached for the Lord.  I pray to use this ministry to honor both my Heavenly Father and my Earthly Father.

Please encourage the men and women of your church to visit

https://faithlikemary.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/263624658269329

https://www.bonfire.com/store/faith-like-mary-ministry/?fbclid=IwAR07wfIETuKtiDm1v0idPGrGnWMkNGoPNvS_862A_3-K6RBwEkjuxO8fkcA

Thank you and God Bless,

Amanda-Lyn Gasco
FLMM

The Grieving Heart

Grief has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.  The smallest, insignificant, thing, can set you off.  Today, I was grocery shopping when my sweet Eli decided to throw a temper tantrum.  I hustled him out to the car where he sat with his Auntie while I shopped.  It was insane in the store.  People every which way I turned, and I just wanted to be out in the fresh air.  Finally, I am at the check-out line and some jerk had the gall to be rude to me.  In pure Aly fashion, I gave it right back to him.  This is an ugly habit of mine and one that is proving almost impossible to break.  Once in the car, I lowered my head and sobbed for my Father who would have laid the guy out flat for hurting his princess.  I miss him terribly and not a day goes by where I feel his spirit around me.  It is comforting, yet sad because it is not the same as a hug (and he gave the best hugs).  For the rest of the day, I was increasingly short-tempered and barely held it together.  I dropped off the groceries, scooped up Tobs and delivered him to his best friend’s house.  I was blessed to have a nice visit with his best friend’s Mom.  Then I began my drive home.  I turned on my music and at one point “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle came through the speakers.  I danced with my Dad to that song at my wedding.  I immediately pulled over and finally had a good, solid, ugly, soul-wrenching cry.  Once that was done, I took a deep, shaky, breath and headed home where I made BLT’s and handled some “Mom” stuff such as catching up on e-mails.  Now I am finally settled in my bed and while my heart still hurts, it hurts just a tiny bit less.

To those that have lost a loved one:  keep the faith, live your life, keep busy, but take time to grieve.  If you take the time to grieve, you get the time to heal and to figure out how to go on without your loved one beside you.  It is so very important to accept the grieving and even more important to accept the healing. 

J.O.Y.

There is an acronym for Joy:  Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.  Remember this and you will have true joy in the Lord.  Loving God equals loving others equals loving yourself.  My life has increased in making time for God, even among the crazy.  Yesterday, I gave you a nugget of my day-to-day life.  For the past two nights, I have taken about a half an hour to pamper…myself (shocking, I know).  I massaged my feet, gave my long, curly hair some TLC, showered, shaved, put on lotion, the whole nine.   

As I focus more on God, I find it easier to love Him more.  By loving Him more, I love my husband more.  Daily, he reminds me of the sweet, shy boy I fell in love with at sixteen.  I love my three boys and find myself praying earnestly for them.  I love my mother fiercely and I understand her a lot more.  I even love my job (though it is only seasonal).  I have prayed and worked so hard for this job and it is such a blessing to finally have the job my family and I sacrificed so much for.  And I love myself more.  For longer than I would care to admit, I hated myself.  

Like so many Christian’s, I backslid and for a long time, I was a “Sunday” Christian.  A “Sunday” Christian is someone who goes to church on Sundays and holidays.  The “good Sunday” Christian’s straddle two worlds and this was me for a long time. 

In one world, you are involved in the church, you are at every service, and you volunteer for every event and vacation Bible school.  In the second world, other things take the focus away from God.  Your spouse, kids, job, house, and so on.  This leads to fear, worry, stress, doubt, pain, the list goes on.  

Stay focused on God, and you will be led to faith, love, joy, peace, patience, the list is endless, just like God’s love is for ANY who believe.  From the lowest to the highest.  Any skin color, any gender, any orientation, God’s love is for all.  Find God’s love and you will find true and lasting joy. 

A Day in the Life of Me

I usually write a past memory, connect with something current, and voila, I have a post.  Today, I thought I would share with you a little bit of my everyday life.  My day typically starts anywhere between 7 and 8 A.M.  My alarm (which is set across the bedroom) gets to blaring and I grumble my way over to shut it off.  After a quick trip to the facilities, I wake up Tobs and get him sorted with another, never-ending, remote day of school.  While waking him up, I am grabbing my clothes for the day and brushing my hair.  Then I wake up Will, usually by 8:30, sometimes 9:00, depending on our schedules.  Then we say good-bye and trundle off to our local Cumby’s for coffee and orange juice before he drops me at my office and he heads off to work.  

Once in the office, I take a look at the schedule and the appointments for the day, update our communication board, and have a conversation with whichever tax pros are here with me.  Then, while they set about actually filing tax returns, I sit at my desk and handle checking in clients, getting them seated with their respective tax pro.  I then get settled at my desk and handle our calls and e-mails that need to be sent out (and of course still handling the day’s appointments).  Finally, after about 6-9 hours, we close up the office, Will picks me up and we head home for a late dinner and a quick tidying up of the house before saying our prayers and drifting off to dreamland. 

During my breaks, I call my sweet Eli (who stays with his Gram during the week, thank you Covid and remote learning), and check on him and talk with him.  If I have any down time, I spend it searching for a suitable place that will house all of us (plus a dog and a cat).   

Somehow, in the midst of all the insanity, I still find the time to throw on either KLOVE (my new favorite radio station) or my Pandora playlist (filled with worship music I heard on KLOVE).  Reading the Bible is done (not as often as it should, hey, didn’t say I was perfect).  I try to stay as focused on the Lord but it is hard in the busy.   

My final thought, if we wait for the time to worship, pray, read the Bible, share our faith, it will NEVER get done.  We must make the time because if we do, God turns the busy into a blessing. 

The Ugly

I have been a believer for as long as I can remember and as such, I have heard countless, inspiring, uplifting testimonies of how great our God really is (and have experienced such in my life).  But, most testimonies, start with “my life was alright, it got worse, I found God, now life is roses”.  No one talks about the “ugly” that still remains behind.  The ugly that rears its head even though you feel so focused and on fire for Christ.  My biggest “ugly” is my temper and some days, just the slightest thing sets it off.  The other day I took Tobs up to McDonald’s for breakfast.  Upon getting in the car, I found our driver’s seat would not move.  I fixed (I thought) and off we went.  Reaching the golden arches, we happily bounced in, repeated our order about 4 times (still they got it wrong) and back out to the car we went where, surprise, the seat did NOT want to move.  I fussed and fumed and finally gave up, left the seat where it was, drove home, and promptly stormed into the house yelling and swearing (horrors, a Christian who swears).  It’s a nasty habit and one I will break with the power of Christ.  I buried myself in my bed and had a good old fashioned temper tantrum then trundled out, ate my breakfast, and was promptly rewarded with a toothache that gave way to a 3-day headache (thank the Lord for snow days). 

It was not even the chair not moving that I was angry with.  I have a dear friend who has gone through a LOT in her young life and she is dealing with more heartache.  I was angry because this girl has such a bright spirit and a warm heart (and a TON of patience) and a strength that comes from facing the darkest of demons.  I railed at God about how can He make her suffer even more than what she already has, doesn’t she deserve some peace and happiness? 

I still don’t have the answers as to why others must suffer, other than the way someone explained it me once.  God bring you through the storm so that when another is facing a similar storm, you have the tools you need to guide them through. 

I hate my “ugly” and I strive every day to break the bad “habits” that I currently have.  I try to step in faith every day so that my “ugly” stays tucked away where she belongs. 

The Ghosts

The ghosts, the ghosts
In my mind the host
So the story goes and unfolds
Take some steps and leave more behind
Looking back just makes me blind.
Time still passes though they say it’s not real,
If every bad choice is now, then don’t I always fail?
As I feel the scars like open wounds
Yearning to lay to rest in tomb
Yearning to give birth, newness from womb
Of ever fighting breath and thought and passion
Wanting to live rather than survive as reaction
Wanting to exist beyond the masking
These ghosts, these ghosts,
I will be my own host!
In mental room of electricity
Seeing importance of specificity to electivity
I am domineer of my being and of what I’m seeing
But to really SEE, from spiritual throne I must look down
So firstly, in this plane and dome, I must turn around
Now feet steady in forward facing direction
Not listening to past voices, no coherent detection
I learn to take step by step and only glimpse back for reflection
To make the new stronger and better than before
To cast it beautifully against the floor
So if I’m ever tempted to again look back
I see something more glorious than previous hack
I see the goals achieved and future perceived
I bask in this breath that is mine to breathe
The ghosts, the ghosts
Those immeasurable hosts
Now put to rest in grave and moss
I am no longer your slave of loss
No longer here to pay your cost
To make this gold and silver I cast away the dross
Upon my seeing eye I wear this crown
Every jewel earned while Spirit shines down
While Spirit pours out and at last, glows all around
-Kelz

**written by my life-long friend, Kellie ♥♥♥ thanks for adding ♥♥♥