Author Archives: amyctanner

2 Chronicles 20:14-24:14

This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march out against them. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Juhah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NLT

There was a vast army coming against Judah. King Jehoshaphat was terrified and he begged the Lord for his intervention and asked everyone to fast. In the midst of his fear he declared the Lord’s power in prayer and worship. Than the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of his men and prophesied God’s promise to fight for them. The people began to worship before the victory.

Than King Jehoshaphat bowed low his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshipping the Lord. After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: ”Give thanks to the Lord; His faithful love endures forever!” At that very moment they began to sing and praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting amongst themselves.” 2 Chronicles 20:18-22 NLT

A friend once told me that prayer and worship combined are a strong weapon against the enemy. I was feeling defeated and oppressed under my circumstances. This is how I would rise above them, just like King Jehoshaphat did.

When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.” 2 Chronicles 20:29&30 NLT

Dear Father, thank you for fighting for me. So many times I get weary for taking the battle on myself. I give it over to you again & again. Thank you that you hear my prayers. Thank you for your faithfulness. The victory is yours. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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1 Chronicles 1:17-3:9

These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him by the daughter of Shua, the Canaanitess. Er, the firstborn of Judah, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; so He killed him. And Tamar, his daughter-in-law, bore him Perez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.” 1 Chronicles 2:1-4 NIV

It’s a shame that the only thing mentioned about Er is that he was wicked. I can’t help but wonder what will be spoken about my life. What legacy will I leave?

Also the sons of Hezron who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. Ram begot Amminadab, and Amminadab begot Nahshon, leader of the children of Judah; Nahshon begot Salma, and Salma begot Boaz; Boaz begot Obed, and Obed begot Jesse; Jesse begot Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. Now the sisters were Zeriuah and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel-three. Abagail bore Amasa; and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.” 1 Chronicles 2:9-17 NIV

Some of these names are very familiar to me…David, Boaz, Abigail. Others I find myself skimming over, but wanting to find out more about their life. I am reminded that names are important. And that because of Jesus, I have a new name. I recently read a book that asked, “Do you know the meaning of your name?” (When Women Walk by Faith-Lysa TerKeurst). I’ve always known that my name means Beloved, but this time it took on a whole new meaning for me. It went from my head to my heart. It was a tangible reminder of God’s love for me. There was no doubt in my mind that God was speaking to me through this book and the words of this song…

“I’ve heard the accusation. And I’ve heard the propaganda. I’ve heard the lies they whispered to my soul. That I have been forsaken. And I’ll always be forgotten. No matter what I do it’s not enough. I am Your Beloved, You have bought me with Your blood. On Your hand You have written out my name. I am Your Beloved, the one the Father loves, Your mercy has defeated all my shame. The One who knows me best, is the one who loves me most. There is nothing I have done that could change the Father’s love…” (I am Your Beloved, Jonathon & Melissa Houser-Bethel Music)

Dear Father, thank you that you call me by my new name…Loved, Chosen, Redeemed. That I am found by You and loved by You. My name is written on the palm of your hand (Isaiah 49:16). My purpose and identity are in you. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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1 Kings 7:40-9:9

So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord: the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals; the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars); the ten water carts holding the ten basins; the Sea and the twelve oxen under it; the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls. Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon directed.” 1 Kings 7:40-45 NLT

In the past I might have skipped over these verses thinking that all of this extravagance is unnecessary. After all, God’s presence dwells in me and I am His temple. But, as an artist I get to display His beauty to the world. One of the ways that I put this into practice is by painting during worship at my church. It’s a way to be lead by the Spirit and draw myself and others closer to God. I recently went to the National Gallery of Art to see one of my favorite paintings. To take in its beauty and see what God is speaking into my soul. Art can be a tool to draw others into His presence. To give Him glory. As long as I am not worshipping the created, but the creator.

Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever! Oh Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep Your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.” 1 Kings 8:13; 23&24 NLT

How am I displaying God’s beauty and hope to a world that so desperately needs it? What gifts and abilities has God given me to display His glory?

Thank you Father that Your presence is always with me. Thank you for the signs of Spring and new life, help me to see Your beauty all around me. Amen.

But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today.” 1 Kings 8:27&28 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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1 Samuel 20-22

David fled from Naioth in Ramah and found Jonathan. ”What have I done?” he exclaimed. “What have I done?” he exclaimed. ”What is my crime? How have I offended your father that he is so determined to kill me?” ”That’s not true!” Jonathon protested. ”You’re not going to die. He always tells me everything he’s going to do, even the little things. I know my father wouldn’t hide something like this from me. It just isn’t so!” Then David took an oath before Jonathan and said, “Your father knows perfectly well about our friendship, so he has said to himself, ’I won’t tell Jonathan-why should I hurt him?’ But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! I swear it by the LORD and by your own soul!” ”Tell me what I can do to help you,” Jonathan exclaimed.” 1 Samuel 20:1-4 NLT

Jonathan was put in a tough position, between his dad and best friend. But, his loyalty was with God first. That gave him the wisdom and courage to do what was right. He was loyal to his dad who was King and to his friend. I can’t help but to wonder what I would do in the same situation. Am I letting God’s word guide my decisions? Am I a loyal friend?

“Show me this loyalty as my sworn friend-for we made a solemn pact before the Lord-or kill me yourself if I have sinned against your father. But please don’t betray me to him!” ”Never!” Jonathan exclaimed. “You know that if I have the slightest notion my father was planning to kill you, I would tell you at once.” 1 Samuel 20:8&9 NLT

Jonathan was a faithful friend. I can get weary of praying the same prayer or showing up when it doesn’t seem to make a difference. But, God has been speaking the importance of faithfulness in my life. It reminds me of His faithfulness to me.

And may you treat me with the faithful love of the Lord as long as I live. But if I die, treat my family with faithful love, even when the Lord destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.” So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, saying, ”May the Lord destroy all your enemies!” And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.” 1 Samuel 20:14-17 NLT

Do I know how fully loved I am by God, that I can love others well? Jonathan loved David well. With a love that could only come from God. They had genuine sadness when they left each other. It was a bond that could not be broken.

“Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David. At last Jonathan said to David, ”Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the Lord’s name. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town.” 1 Samuel 20:42 NLT

Thank you Father for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my closest friend. Help me to be a good friend and love others well. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Judges 3-5

Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgement. One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, ”This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.” Barak told her, ”I will go, but only if you go with me.” ”Very well,” she replied, ”I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kadesh. So on that day Israel saw God defeat Jabin, the Canaanite king. And from that time on Israel became stronger and stronger against King Jabin until they finally destroyed him.” Judges 4:4-9; 23&24 NLT

Deborah was chosen by God. She was the only female judge of Israel. She didn’t let the fact that she was a woman in a time where women leaders weren’t common, make her lose sight of God’s plan for her life. She was a prophet whose main role was to encourage people to obey God. She used her gifts, like writing songs, to influence others and draw them closer to the Lord. She was humble enough to not want the credit. She desired for God’s purpose to be carried out and for Him to get the glory. Isn’t that what God is calling me to do, no matter what my assignment from Him is?

In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, people avoided the main roads, travelers stayed on winding pathways. There were few people left in the villages of Israel-until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel.” Judges 5:6&7 NLT

Deborah lead the people into battle, but more than that her life impacted them to live for God once the battle was over. What is my place of influence? How am I using my gifts to serve others?

Dear Father, thank you for Deborah’s example of faithfulness to You. How she trusted You and acted in obedience. I want to live with the same courage & boldness. Amen.

Wake up, Deborah, wake up! Wake up, Wake up, and sing a song! Arise Barak! Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam!” Judges 5:12 NLT

Amy (amyctanner)

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