November 26, 2013

What God's love looks like

PictureGod's been working on me a lot lately. I'm not gonna lie, it's painful at times, but I know He's growing me into someone who looks more like HIm. He's just got a lot of junk to scrape away.

Something God's put on my heart lately is love. And while I don't think I struggle with love, I know I struggle with forgiveness. I can hold a grudge like nobody's business, and if I haven't forgiven someone in my heart, then my fake smile, and fake words aren't true love; not the way Jesus loves. Because when He said my sins are forgiven, He meant it. So who am I to not forgive someone else when I've been forgiven? Who am I to not truly love someone else, when I am so truly loved by God?

What God has been speaking to my heart is--if I am His; if I am filled with The Holy Spirit, then I don't get to pick and choose who He loves through me.

And I try to excuse it all away, "But God, did you see what she did to me?"

And He simply replies, "I still love her."

"But God, did you hear what he said to me?"

"I still love him."

It's not easy for me to see the world through God's eyes. I see through my own hypocritical, self righteous eyes and God says, "Amber, despite what they say or do, I STILL LOVE THEM. I'm trying to use you to show them how much I love them, but you keep getting in my way."

So, I'm working on it. It's easy for me to love people I don't know. It's much harder for me to love people I've felt betrayed by, but if I am His hands and feet then I don't get to pick and choose.


PictureA couple weeks ago someone emailed me asking for my advice. They were struggling with some bad memories and wanted to know how I came to peace with my past.

I told her it wasn't all of the sudden. The truth is, the closer I am with God, the more at peace I am. But being close with God is a daily walk; it's a daily choice. Salvation is instant; you realize who Christ is, what He did for you, that you aren't worthy, but He loves you anyways and you need Him in your life and BOOM, you are saved.

BUT..... the peace of God isn't instant. It comes from knowing Him, loving HIm, and proclaiming Him. It comes from walking with Him daily. When I asked that woman if she was attending church she said no. I didn't quiz her much after that one question because chances are, if she isn't attending a church, she most likely isn't reading her Bible daily either.

Many Christians fall into that slump... I've done it too. That's how I can say what I'm saying. I speak from experience.

The problem is, when you are a Christian and living outside the will of God, you will be miserable. Simple as that. You can search for peace all around you, in people, your job, the bottom of a bottle, but you won't find it there because you've been called His, not theirs.

God isn't someone you can keep in your back pocket and pull out when it's convenient to you. He wants to be a part of your morning, afternoon, and evening, and in return He promises to give you peace in every situation.

PictureA friend came to see my husband the other day. He wanted advice because of marriage/family troubles. The problem is he wants God to show up in those situations, but this guy can't show up for church on Sunday.

My pastor, Joe McKaig says it best when he says, "You can be a Christian and not attend church, but you can't be a good Christian." I'm sure that offends some, but it's the truth.
ROMANS 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Walking with God is simple... pray, read your Bible, and attend a Bible teaching church. It isn't easy, but it is simple. The deeper you get into the word of God, the more it will change your heart and the way you view the world in every situation.

People turn to me for advice, but my advice isn't always what they want to hear. I don't have some magic pill, or a perfect poem to ease the pain. I don't have the "instant gratification" answer they seek. I have a book I believe in and if you want the peace I have then you have to read it and believe what it says.

2 TIMOTHY 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


November 21, 2013


Good morning, everyone. Today I get to share the story of a local celebrity.
If you live in the city of Cartersville, Ga. you've notice TEAM KIM shirts and car magnets EVERYWHERE!
And this isn't a small city, she's just that well known. Seriously, if I drive more than 10 minutes I'm bound to see several car magnets and usually on multiple cars.

Meet Kim Cowart. She's been married to Brad Cowart for over twenty years. Their daughter is Madison Cowart (brunette to Kim's left).

Kim's the executive secretary at Northwest Georgia Public Health. She's an active member at Oakland Heights Baptist Church and she loves to sing country gospel.

Her faith in God and her family have kept her strong through a lifelong battle with diabetes.

Here's her story of faith, family, and friends and how with those three things anything is possible.


By the age of seven I only weighed thirty-five pounds. My
parents knew something was wrong, but they weren’t sure what. I was hospitalized
and diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

Back then you couldn’t check your sugar levels so I had to give myself an injection of insulin every day. I practiced on an orange and eventually it just became second nature.

When I went off to college, like most teens, I enjoyed the extra
freedom. I figured the injections would keep my levels in check so I ate what I
wanted and pretended nothing was wrong. I was just so sick of being diabetic. It
was easier that way—to act like everything was okay. I thought if I ignored my
health issues long enough maybe they would just go

By my second year of college I began to have problems with my
eyes. My mind over matter trick wasn't working.

I had Lasik eye surgery to help with my eye sight and started watching
what I ate a little better.

After college, I married Brad and we began our lives together.
We had our daughter, Madison, and I just kept on dealing with my diabetes one
day at a time and hoping for the best. And it seemed to work for a little

In 2004 I started having really bad indigestion. It kept me up
at night and was really bothering me. Even my jaw hurt. I saw 4 doctors and they
all said the same thing—“relax, you’re just stressed.” But I wasn't stressed. Something was wrong and I knew it, I just didn't know what.

One day at work my chest started hurting so bad I could barely
move. My coworkers called the ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital.

My blood work came back normal, but they went ahead and put in a heart catheter just
to be sure.

The results came back that I had FIVE blockages!! I needed surgery immediately.

The surgery went great and I went back to my normal life.

About four years ago I started having chest pains again. The
doctor did another heart catheter and the results came back clean. So that was
good, but since the dye used can affect other organs, they went ahead and
checked my kidneys just to be on the safe side.

My levels were low… not what I wanted to hear.

They sent me to a kidney specialist. That doctor said I was in
the safe zone, but he wanted to see me regularly for checkups. 
We decided not to tell our daughter because we didn’t want her to worry
about something that might not even happen. We prayed for the best, always
hoping my levels wouldn’t go below the red line. I didn’t worry about it much. I
felt fine. I just kept on with my life, exercising and eating

This past April my doctor told me it was time to speak with a
transplant specialist. My kidney levels were too low and they weren’t gonna get

If I’m being honest it was frustrating. I felt fine. I was working out and it just made me mad that my body wasn’t cooperating with all my efforts.

On May 30, 2013, I saw a team of specialist and they took 18
vials of blood. They started talking in numbers and long words. I needed a kidney and pancreas. Surgeries aren’t free and they wanted me to know exactly how much it was going to cost us. Maybe
a better way of putting it is they wanted me to know we couldn’t afford the
surgeries. And on top of that they wanted to let me know all the statistics.
None of it was good. It was all too much.

By the time we left the office I was defeated. I’ve
always tried to be positive. I love my life and I’ve dealt with my diabetes by
keeping a good outlook on things. I love God and I have faith in His will, but
that day there just didn’t seem to be any options.

My husband and I got in the car and headed home.

I could tell by his silence his mind was racing. I turned to him
and said, “Let’s just let this play out.”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I feel fine. I’m sure I’ll live a few more years. It’d just be
cheaper to let me die.” I knew what I was saying was hurtful, but I didn’t know
what else to say. I didn’t want him to think I didn’t care about living, but I
didn’t want to be a burden on my family. There was no way we could ever afford
the surgeries I needed and we would just worry ourselves to death trying to make
it work. I thought it would be better to enjoy the few years I had left
then to stress over something we couldn’t afford.

When we got home, Brad’s best friend Patrick Nelson was there.
Brad told me to go inside while he talked with Patrick.

Little did I know, God had a plan to use Brad and Patrick. God, in His infinite wisdom put Brad in my life all those years ago, and just shortly into our marriage, God brought Patrick into our lives.
Patrick and Brad have been best friends for over twenty years.

The two of them would end up being the perfect men to carry out God’s will in my life.

God had placed a desire on Patrick’s heart a long time ago—something called
The Amazing Race. Patrick loves the show and wanted to do something local—all he needed was the opportunity... insert me and my failing organs.

They formed a committee (with a quickness). Word got out
instantly about what they wanted to do and people came by the dozens to volunteer, some of them we didn’t even know.
It was crazy how many people wanted to help and how quickly everything came into place.

Brad and Patrick decided to have 12 teams of two people. (So
many people wanted to participate they actually had to turn people away!)

My family, friends, and church stepped up in support. It was so
overwhelming, but in the best, most amazing way. My husband sold car magnets and
t-shirts to help raise money. He and Patrick spoke to sponsors and within a few
weeks everything was set up for BARTOW'S AMAZIN' RACE, all proceeds
to go toward my kidney and pancreas replacement surgery which will be
$100,000.00 (after insurance).

I could tell you what happened next, but this video sums it
up pretty well.

I forgot how BIG GOD IS. What seemed impossible, what seemed like too much, was something He planned from the start. I'm so humbled by all the love. It's as if God himself is loving me through all of these people.
I'm just in awe. I could never thank Him enough.
I'm on the transplant list and still awaiting a pancreas and Kidney. I'm actually excited about getting a new pancreas because it will mean for the first time in my life I won't have to battle with diabetes!!
God took my burdens and used people in my life and created something beautiful out of it all.
Only He could do that!
Thank you for reading my story.