Welcome to A Family House of Prayer Site!

It is only just begun, and yet we are already changing the future. We are one little house … one little house that has become "a house of prayer for all nations." Please, join us in making a difference far beyond the reach of your hands …. Just say “yes” to the Lord and watch Him faithfully complete the work in your own home. “Yes, Lord. Make our house a house of prayer for all nations.” Go to the side bar and look for the first post in March "In the beginning" for starters.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

All my favorite memories … Kayla and Adam’s wedding.



Kayla was a peaceful and calm bride, even getting ready.  Her hair and make-up were simply gorgeous, and when she put on her dress, the package was stunning.  She radiated beauty.  We had some nice family photos on the front steps of the church prior to the celebration.

I walked down the aisle with my handsome nephew, Samuel, and then watched as Tom escorted his mother down; it was an unplanned but very touching moment.  Next came the song “I promise I always will” (Steffany Gretzinger) and Lia walking down the aisle.  I still (7 days later) choke up thinking about how beautiful she was as she came down the aisle, trying to smile through her tears.  Next came Mayana, again so beautiful I could hardly breathe.  Grace was equally beautiful and I thought “How in the world am I going to make it through this wedding without crying through it all?”  I took some deep breaths as Rachel, Becca, and Rachel proceeded – an opportunity to regain my composure I watched the amazingly beautiful AnneMarie come down, and then the radiant Jocelyn.  The big moment was at hand as we stood to hear the song, “Divine Romance” (Phil Wickham).

Kayla’s beauty took everyone’s breath away as she walked down the aisle on the arm of her handsome father.  I know for sure that I have never seen a more beautiful bride, radiating love, purity, and a depth of beauty that could never be painted on. I was careful to breathe and prepared myself to stand and come up to the front with her as we planned. 

Standing next to Kayla at the front of the church and watching Adam gaze lovingly at his bride was a moment that time seemed to stand still.  It was warm up front, and the excitement was palpable.  I waited eagerly for my chance to hug Kayla and tell her I loved her.  My heart was catching in my throat, but I did manage to say it, “I love you Kayla; you are beautiful.”

The perfect way to view a wedding is from the front row.  I was captured by each moment of worship.  The foot washing, set to the tune of Dance with Me, sung beautifully by Abbey and Steve, was particularly moving as the couple whispered to each other words the rest of us will never know, though the message was clear:  “I am devoting myself to serving you and the Lord all the days of my life.”

Praying for Kayla and Adam was another moment when time seemed to stand still.  Steve and Abbey were leading the rest of the congregation in worship as Tom, Valerie, Bob, Dad, Mom, Jeremy, Sonya, Beth, Mike, Terry, Monica, and I prayed for the couple.  I remember that the prayers were all so on point for them particularly and how I prayed that there would be many “sons and daughters brought into the Kingdom through them.”
Finally, we closed the worship time with Our Father (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzoNKuymO0U).  Incredible!  This may have been my favorite moment of the wedding ceremony (other than seeing the look of rapture between Kayla and Adam as they said their vows and exchanged rings).  We truly worshiped God, and my heart swelled with such thanksgiving and gratitude and worshipful awe with my arms raised high.  I worshiped without thought of anyone else there.  I stood amazed as those on stage, particularly the groomsmen, worshiped with wholehearted abandon, arms high.  Truly amazing!
Rusty gave a message on the meaning of the covenant of marriage.  It was really good, but a little long I think.  I just kept reminding myself that “this is what Kayla and Adam picked.”  (I asked others later if they thought the whole ceremony was too long, but everyone said it was just right.)  Then the moments came that everyone had been waiting for.  Their vows were traditional and delivered in a heartfelt manner; they exchanged rings (again with looks of raptured love on their faces); and finally, they kissed their very first kiss.   I think we all cheered and clapped, but this part had a surreal feel to it.  Only those close enough to know the whole story realized that this was indeed their very first kiss. 
With the pronouncement of marriage came the exuberant recessional “Let your heart go free” (Rick Pino.)  Kayla’s and Adam’s smile were radiant as they walked fairly quickly down the aisle, followed by each in the wedding party.  I was caught up in the feeling of victory, but made sure to cue each of G, M, and L for their place in the recessional, before allowing Tom to escort me along behind them.  I was dancing inside, and a bit on the outside too, as I beamed with radiant joy.  It all happened so fast – that Kayla Amlung became Kayla Coupe – that I felt startled!
I proceeded outside to meet and greet.  I asked AnneMarie and Jocelyn where K and Adam were.  She said, “I think they went around the corner to make out.”  We laughed.  And then I greeted so many people.  So fun to see those whom I’d forgotten would be there – and those who traveled so far.  Relatives and friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen in over a year.  All too soon we were asked to come to the back of the church for more photos – fun photos of the couple kissing.  And then it all became a blur for a while.
I was only slightly flustered over some of the details, which I kept placing back into others’ hands.  Somehow drinks were set up and people got water, tea, and lemonade.  Somehow the food got set out by the caterers, and somehow the sound guy doubled as DJ and announced what he was supposed to announce. 
One important detail that went just right:  Jocelyn and I bustled Kayla’s dress without any delay or hiccups, so that she could rejoin the wedding.
A few people asked questions to which I had no answer.  And life went on, as did the party. 
I greeted Clara and Mart and Ginny and girls and reconnected a little with family members.  I got to say hello to all those who had come.  I just wish I had more time with most of them.  I hated to see that Martin/Clara/Pat/Lisa and all left way too early.  But at least they got to see two of my other favorite parts:
The first dance and the daddy-daughter dance.  They were great!  I got those on video.
I think at some point I got a bite to eat, and I do remember that the food was very good, especially the spinach artichoke dip and the Swedish meatballs.   We needed more of those to take home after, but they did last to the end of the reception.
All too soon it was time to cut the cake.  I noticed that the cake did look very beautiful, and the fact that it was two tiers instead of three didn’t make any difference.  Right this moment that’s all I remember – the cake looked great and Kayla and Adam managed to fairly gracefully smear cake and frosting on each other’s faces.  Adorable.
Kayla beamed with beauty throughout the evening.  I wish I could recapture exactly how that looked to me.  Adam seemed to be swept away in love and admiration for his bride.
I stayed close to the wedding party table for the speeches and toast.  Jocelyn and Tom did absolutely amazing jobs.  Having champagne was fun!!!  I only had one glass, but it was so festive.
I danced with Tom.  It was so fun, too!!  I loved the band.  Wouldn’t change a thing.  It was awesome when Abbey sang Amazing Grace with them.
I enjoyed catching up a bit with Laura, Dan, and Emma.  I enjoyed talking a bit with a few other friends here and there.  Got to catch up some with Uncle Greg – a treat that he showed up.  I sure wish I could have connected better with James and Christina!  I didn’t see them after our initial hugs and brief conversation right after the ceremony.  
The sparkler send-off was magical.  So perfect!!  We were right by the car and watched them walk all the way down the long winding aisle of people with sparklers.  I guess a lot of people did stay to the end, because the line was LONG!
A moment that I wished I’d grabbed on video – the line dancing at the very end.

Clean-up was crazy but we got it all done.

I felt like I was still on cloud nine for hours afterward, and even into the next two days. 

Amazing love, amazing grace, amazing God!!


Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2016

In the Beginning was the Word ...

Bringing it to the top again (because it moves me to tears every year - originally published in 2013)

A Christmas Meditation - Into the Eyes of the Christ Child

As soft Christmas carol instrumentals played in the background, I asked the Lord, "Will you take me back into the time of Jesus' birth?  Can I be there with Mary and Joseph?"  As I prayed and set my eyes on Jesus, He transported me in the spirit, until I was standing in the stable with Mary and Joseph.  They were aware of my presence, but in an accepting way, not startled at all.  Amazed, I slowly moved closer to Mary, so that I could see Jesus more clearly.  Mary smiled at me and held the carefully wrapped infant out to me as if to say, “Would you like to hold him?”  

My heart melted within me.  "Me?  Hold him?” I stammered  

But Mary smiled with an expression that said, “Why not?” 

"Why, yes.  Of course!"

I was cradling the baby Jesus in my arms, close to my chest, just like I would hold any other baby.. except that my insides felt like they were melting into one giant pool of emotion.  

When the baby Jesus opened his eyes, I was mesmerized.  Deep, beautiful, and calm, his eyes were a color I'd never seen before.  Transfixed, I stared into those deeply wondrous eyes, my gaze filled with the longing to know Him more.




As I continued to gaze, I was drawn into those eyes, as if my entire being were being drawn through them and beyond them - far beyond them.  Suddenly I could see so far beyond - far back in time. Time before time.  Here Jesus was not an infant at all.  Instead I saw Him as "the craftsman at the Father’s side" during creation (Prov 8:30).  I was there, watching as He brought stars into existence.  In a time-lapsed fashion with startling clarity and color, similar to the images from the Hubbell space telescope, I watched the birth of stars and galaxies.  I knew I was light years away and yet at the same time it seemed like I had a front row seat, watching brilliant, multi-faceted lights swirling and flashing.  

Overcome, I took a deep breath, and again my eyes were captivated by this tiny baby, whose eyes held galaxies.  How could it be that these beautiful baby eyes were in essence the same eyes that gazed upon the very beginnings of creation of an entire Universe! This baby at one time spoke and galaxies were birthed at His very word!


I handed baby Jesus back to Mary, and immediately I was back in my own home, sitting on my brown couch with my two daugh ters by my side.  They were completely unaware that I’d been gone at all, though they wondered at the tears I wiped away.

Like Mary, I ponder these things in my heart.

For more meditation:

Proverbs 8: 22 -31 (New Living Translation)
 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. 24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; 25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, 26 before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. 27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, 28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.30 Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, 31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Longing for Glory Divine, a poem

You feed me this indescribably sweet fruit of your Presence
And it is by Your very hand that I receive,
simply parting my lips.
And if I should reach out my own hand
to attempt to touch, to hold, to take,
would it not dematerialize,
no longer there to taste?
For it was never mine in the first place,
but gift given.
Simply a moment of eternal ecstasy,
or just a mere foretaste.
Longing for glory divine lingers on my lips

as I wait in this place.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Psalm 139 for meditation

For Meditation
Psalm 139: A psalm of David (NLT).*
1  lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me .. and you LOVE me!
2  You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away … when I am doing things my own way and not paying attention to you … and still you LOVE me and are patient with me!
3  You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do … and whether those things are pleasing to you or not, still you LOVE me!
4  You know what I am going to say even before I say it, lord …  May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, Lord. 
5   You go before me and follow me.  You surround me with your Love.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.  Sometimes I can even feel your hand of blessing resting upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand! 
How can the Creator of the Universe be with me in such a close and compassionate way?
7  I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!  Your presence is in me and all around me, filling me and surrounding me.
8  If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.  My future is secure in You, for you will be with me through everything, even through the deepest darkest valley. 
9  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.  In my weakest moments you are my strength!
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
12  but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Night and Day are both the same in your sight – full of your brilliant light!
13  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16  You saw me before I was born, and You LOVED me way back then!
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 
Even before I had a physical body, you dreamed me up!  You knew me and loved me from before the creation of the world!  (Eph 1:4).**
17  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!

They cannot be numbered!
18  I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
I picture your hands full of tiny sparkling gems, and each one represents a precious thought – a precious thought about me!
How can this be?  Could it be that I am dreaming? 
[But] when I wake up,
You are still with me!
…..
23  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
I confess that I am anxious, that I fear; show me where I don’t trust you. Remind me of your faithfulness.  I repent from fear and anxiety and choose to cast my cares on You, knowing that You care for me.  (1 Pet 5:7)
24  Also, please Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
I want to live a life that is pleasing to you, and I want to follow you all the days of my life!

--
*The text is from the New Living Translation.  Words in italics are ones that I added. ( Pam Amlung)
**Ephesians Chapter 1:
3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.b 7He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Prayer from Colossians – Ch 1 -3 (ESV) - first person, for praying outloud


Lord, fill me and strengthen me.
9Lord, I pray, asking and believing, that You will fill me with the knowledge of Your will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10 Lord, fill me, so that I may walk in a manner worthy of you, and that I may be fully pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You, my Lord and my God.
 Lord, I pray, asking and believing, that you will strengthen me with all power, according to your glorious might, so that I may have great endurance and patience with joy.
(Repeat above, believing this for yourself, personally.)
Thank You for bringing me into Your Light.
I thank you, Father, for you have qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 Thank you for delivering me from the domain of darkness and transferring me into the kingdom of your beloved Son, 14 in whom I have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.
15 I rejoice in You, Jesus, knowing that you are just like your Father, the invisible and eternal God, and that you were the firstborn of all creation.
Confession of Faith in Jesus and Who He Is.
 16 I believe in You, Christ Jesus, that by You all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through You and by You. 17 You are before all things, and in You, Lord Jesus, all things hold together. 18 You are the head of the body, the church. You are the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and in everything You are preeminent [above all]. 19 For in You, Jesus, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and I believe that You are reconciling all things to yourself, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood that you shed on the cross.
21 Although I was once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil not good, YOU have now reconciled me - in your body of flesh by your death - in order to present ME holy and blameless and above reproach before You.   23 Be merciful to me that I may continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that I have heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven.
Rejoicing, working, proclaiming: Christ in me the hope of glory.
24 May I rejoice even when I am suffering.  Thank you for calling me to minister and proclaim the Gospel, according to the unique stewardship that you give to me.  May I work to make your Word fully known. 26   Lord, I pray that you will allow me to be part of revealing the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but revealed to us in Christ.  Make known again in my generation the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is YOU, Christ Jesus, dwelling in ME and in each of us. You are the Hope of Glory – You are in me! 28 May I proclaim YOU, admonishing and teaching everyone whom you’ve given me, with all wisdom, that they may mature in Christ. 29 May this be something I work hard for using your strength -  struggling with all Your energy that You powerfully work within me.

Ch 2

I pray that You will encourage our hearts, Lord, and knit us together in love, so that we may reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding.  I want to live in this reality: the knowledge of God's mystery, which is You, Christ Jesus.  In YOU are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 
May I know the mysteries of hidden treasure – wisdom and knowledge that are found in You, alone!
I pray that no one may delude me with plausible arguments. I pray that I will retain the firmness of my faith in You, Christ Jesus.
Therefore, just as I have received you, Christ Jesus, as my Lord, may I walk in You, rooted, grounded, and built up in YOU and established in my faith and may I live a life that is overflowing with thanksgiving.
I will see to it that no one takes me captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 
Confession of Faith
9 I confess that in Christ Jesus dwells the whole fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, 10 and I confess the reality that at the same time, I have been (and therefore I am) filled with Christ, who is the head of all rule and authority. 1In Christ I have also had my heart circumcised through Christ, by putting off the body of the flesh, 12 having been buried with him in baptism.  And I also confess that I have been raised with Christ through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Christ Jesus from the dead. 
13 Although without Christ I was dead in my trespasses and flesh, You, the gracious God, have made me alive together with Christ, and you have forgiven me all my trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against me with its legal demands. You set it all aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 And I rejoice that YOU have disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Christ!
Rejecting Religious Pride
16 Because I know that Christ is alive in me, I will let no one pass judgment on me in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 I recognize that these were and are simply a shadow of the things to come.  The substance – the eternal reality - belongs to Christ. 18 For these reasons I will pay no mind to those who would try to disqualify me, by insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up with spiritual pride. 
19 I will not turn from the TRUTH; instead I will hold fast to the Head (you Christ Jesus), from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 With Christ I have died to the elemental spirits of the world.  Therefore I am not still alive to the ways of this world.  I will not allow myself to be duped into submitting to religion’s regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings. 23  I acknowledge that although these have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body,  they are actually of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Ch3

Since I have been raised with Christ, I will seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 
I will set my mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For I have died, and my life is hidden with Christ in God. And I know that when Christ who is my life appears, then I also will appear with him in glory.
I choose to put to death what is earthly and base within me:[b] sexual immorality, impure passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  I recognize that on account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] Although at one time I walked in these paths, now I choose to put all these behind me: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and unwholesome talk.  I won’t put others down.  Instead, I choose to tell the truth, build others up, and not lie; I will put off the old self[d] with its practices. 
10 I will put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, [Catholic or Protestant; religious or free; or any other categories that divide us]; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 As one of God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, I put on a compassionate heart that is full of kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.13 I choose to bear with others in love, forgiving others, as the Lord has forgiven me.  14 And above all these I choose to put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And I choose to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart.;
I choose to be thankful. 16 and to let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly.  I ask that you will help me, Lord, to teach and admonish others in all wisdom. 
I choose a life of singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in my heart to You, my Lord and my God. I will sing in the Spirit, pray in the Spirit, and live in the Spirit.
I choose to 17do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through him.
Prayer for Help in Family Life:
18 Help me, Lord, to submit to my husband, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Help my husband, to love me, and to not be harsh with me. 20 Help my children to obey their parents in everything, wanting to please you, Lord. 21 May my husband not provoke our children, lest they become discouraged. 
May I Obey You as Your Bondservant
22 As your bondservant,[f] Christ Jesus, may I obey You in everything with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 In whatever I am called to do, may I work heartily, as for You, Lord, and not for men, 24 knowing that I will receive an inheritance from YOU as my reward. 25 May I not concern myself with those who do me wrong, knowing that the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, for You are just.
I trust you, Lord, to be my great defender and my great reward.