An INNER VIEW with Amanda Ashley Miess

An INNER VIEW with Amanda Ashley Miess

Sometimes self-centeredness can look like striving and having an internal hyper-focus on yourself. If the focus is on you, you, you, then there might be a need for readjustment. Read this month’s INNER VIEW with producer Amanda Ashley Miess as she shares how she took the attention and pressure off of herself and put it where it belongs… back onto God.

 Bio:

Amanda Ashley Miess is a writing, producing, and directing triple threat who has over ten years of experience working in almost every facet of filmmaking. A creative storyteller and idea generator, she’s had her hands in film, TV, and digital media and has worked for some of the most influential names in the industry, including Jerry Bruckheimer, The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. Amanda has developed, produced and directed a host of digital kid-led variety shows for big brands such as Disney Princess, DC Kids, and Polly Pocket, with some videos reaching well over 1 million views. She also co-directed the Pure Flix mini-series The Power Couple, starring Alexa and Carlos PenaVega. She is currently a Senior Producer at Little Dot Studios, an award-winning digital content agency and media network owned by All3Media. A graduate of USC, she has also made several short films, including festival winners Silence Is Olden and Remember Me, winner of 9 awards at LA’s 168 Film Festival. A kid at heart with a strong passion for making influential content for today’s youth, Amanda loves to do anything a 12-year-old would do…. including but not limited to dancing, backflips, board games, crafts, and making goofy music videos.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: This industry is about “hurry up and wait.” How have you learned to wait on God and embrace His peace?

Amanda Ashley Miess: Has God ever “recently” taught you something that He’s actually been bringing to you layer by layer for years? I have! He is so patient. After spending way too much time trying to earn people’s respect and affirmation in this industry, I am finally starting to embrace the fact that I only need my Lord’s approval. I literally have a Google Drive that is 98% full with unproduced scripts, pitch decks, and story ideas. My Lord has shown me that my value comes from Him alone; all my giftings are from Him and are for Him. He will open the doors in His way and in His timing.

One vision He showed me years ago that I’ll never forget: I saw a dog pile of people clambering on each other to reach one key dangling from the ceiling. This is what succeeding in the entertainment industry often feels like. As I stood to the side, watching them climb over each other, fighting for that one key, the Lord told me to instead walk forward towards a small door that was shaped like me. Only I could fit through it, and I was the key. I have spent many years striving to reach that prized “key” hanging from the ceiling and have grown disappointed in God and my abilities when I have not obtained it. Recently, He has instilled in me a newfound peace and purpose. Even if I don’t have all the answers and I am still learning what my true purpose is in this industry, I know I am exactly where I need to be, and I know that even through the mundane, He is using me to bring His Kingdom on earth.

Kathleen: What do you do when it seems like God is silent and you can’t connect to Him?

Amanda: The times I feel most disconnected from God are when the enemy gets me to look at my human efforts and believe that my works aren’t good enough. Even in my spiritual walk, it is easy for me to believe that I am not praying hard enough, reading the Bible long enough, fasting enough, or ministering enough. I start to believe that nothing I do is ever good enough, and so I give up. That’s when I have felt like God is silent, or I am not close to Him. I think that I need to improve my relationship with God and work harder at loving Him and serving Him. But the truth is that if I believe what Jesus did on the cross puts me in right standing with my Heavenly Father, then I am in right relationship with Him right now! Even if I’m not “feeling it,” I am connected. I am pleasing to Him. Every little thing I do for Him or every thought towards Him counts. He is still moving in my life, and progress is being made. When I remind myself of that truth, connecting with God is easy. He’s right there, and I’m right there with Him. (more…)

An INNER VIEW with Pam Christian

An INNER VIEW with Pam Christian

How do we live according to the truth of God in a deceived, yet truth-obsessed culture? How can we tell if “our truth” is a little askew or not rooted in Jesus? Read this week’s INNER VIEW with Pamela Christian as she breaks down the building blocks of both truth and lies—and how to tell the difference.

Bio

For over twenty-five years, Pamela Christian has compassionately helped people discover and live from life-giving truth. Pamela is a keynote, radio/television talk-show and podcast speaker, teacher, multi-award-winning author and blogger, and an ordained international itinerant minister. As an apologetics enthusiast (Biola University) and charismatic apologist herself, Pamela uniquely helps people balance rational thought with spiritual realities.

 

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: What’s something that God has taught you lately?

Pam Christian:  Recently, God’s been teaching me the vital importance of teaching our children absolute truth, morality and righteousness. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home at a time when the culture pushed every limit—a trend that’s continued to this day, bringing with it all sorts of egregious immoralities, corruption, censorship and more—all promoting evil. Unless children are taught truth, they will, as I did, follow the ways of the world, leading to their personal demise.

The entire world today is suffering under the gross increase of evil, which would have been restrained had more people been firmly standing on and promoting truth. I wouldn’t have such a strong understanding of this without experiencing my own personal life crisis, which revealed I’d been deceived and not living in the light of truth.

Kathleen: I, too, believe that young women—and men—are under attack from the deceiver as never before. Your heart, like mine, is to help others discover and live in life-giving truth and experience the hope that truth provides. What can you share to help others in their quest for truth?

Pam: My own experience and current conditions compel me to help others understand that truth is not personal and relative as many people claim. Those who claim truth is relative would say, “There’s no such thing as absolute truth.” Yet that statement relies on the laws of absolutes, proving those who claim truth is relative, in reality, believe truth is absolute. As I share in my book, Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies, unless we intentionally examine what we believe and why, we can easily be deceived and unaware of our condition because that’s the nature of deception. And in this condition, people are pawns in the hands of the devil.

Kathleen: Yes, the world is obsessed with truth today because we live in a culture of internet lies and deception. Yet, the Bible says, “the truth will set us free.” How can we know the truth today?

Pam: There is a three-point proof-test we can use to discover truth. When all three are in place, we can confidently embrace the matter as truth. These are:

  1. Truth is based on reality (i.e., gender is not a choice)
  2. Only one thing can be true and all opposing matters are false (i.e., it cannot be both dark and light at the same time)
  3. Truth is universal (i.e., tyranny is recognized as tyranny anywhere in the world)

One question I ask is, “Who in this room wants to live your life on the basis of lies?” No one ever raises their hand, which is highly revealing. That one question reveals that each of us has an innate moral compass enabling us to recognize truth as good and lies as bad. The fact that we universally desire truth is a God-given trait to guide us in discovering Truth, namely Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Light.

Kathleen: God tells us to go and be an influence on the world. Why is this important in our truth-obsessed culture?

Pam: Today, more than ever, we have overwhelming evidence worldwide of the importance of those of us who have the truth, to be actively sharing the truth, consistent with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to partner with Jesus to share the truth with those who are deceived—to share the gospel of truth and hope. When God’s people fail in this, the enemy increases his influence bringing all manner of evil and destruction as we’re seeing today. As was true in my own life, sometimes it takes a major crisis to cause us to realize the path of destruction we’ve been on. And even in that, we experience the restoring grace of God.

 

Follow and Connect with Pam:

Podcast: Faith to Live By with Pamela Christian

Website: PamelaChristianMinistries.com 

 

 

An INNER VIEW with Lisa McGloiry

An INNER VIEW with Lisa McGloiry

How do you lead and balance your career, while prioritizing Jesus in your schedule? Read this week’s INNER VIEW with Lisa McGloiry, executive director for Dream of Destiny, as she breaks down the most important life lessons she’s learned as an executive-level professional working in the corporate and nonprofit sphere.

Bio – Lisa McGloiry, J.D.
As a creative visionary and leader, Lisa has over 25+ years of experience in communications, marketing, and public relations for corporate and non-profit entities. Currently, she is the executive director for Dream of Destiny, a diversity and inclusion ministry at Shepherd Church, a 10,000 member multi-racial and multi-cultural church, with three locations in Porter Ranch, Woodland Hills, and Agua Dulce, California.

Lisa is also a certified church consultant specializing in communications and marketing. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and, in her spare time, is a conference speaker and writer. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies at the University of Maryland (UC) and earned her Juris Doctor degree from Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. Growing up as a “PK” (preacher’s kid), she and her family served as missionaries in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa for many years.

Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her husband Michael, stepson Blair, and is a paw parent to a spoiled terrier named Charlie. She loves music, salsa dancing, dogs, lions, and all things purple.

 

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: This month, we focused on leading where God has you, even if it seems insignificant or small. What has God taught you about that?

Lisa McGloiry: God has taught me to seek His mind and heart about everything to make sure my plans, intentions and desires are aligned with His. I’ve learned to ask Him about my role in His bigger story. God promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. I would encourage women to rely on the Holy Spirit for more wisdom. We can never ask God a silly question because He wants to give us direction and answers. (James 1:5) When we call on Him, He will show us mighty things. (Jeremiah 33:3) I’ve learned the power in “the ask.”

Kathleen: Yes, often we forget to ask God with the right heart. He knows our schedules and what is good for us here and now. Working at a mega-church in media can get intense; how have you learned to balance your work and family and keep your priorities in line?

Lisa: I’d like women to understand that God wants to spend more time with His children. When we fail to prioritize our time with Him, we miss out on the abundant life Jesus promised — more joy, peace, wisdom, favor, mercy — inherent rights as daughters of the Most High. One thing that has sparked my faith is realizing that we were not made to live outside the continual presence of our loving Heavenly Father. Jesus died so we can have a close relationship with our Papa God — the maker of the universe, the one who knows all things, and who holds us in the palms of His hands.

Kathleen: What’s a life lesson that you’ve learned?

Lisa: Here’s a learned life lesson. “If you ever want anything in life, just ask God for it.” It seems really simple, but I wasted so many years searching for approval or favor from others rather than looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. One day, the Lord said, “Why don’t you trust and wait on me?” One of the names of God is Jehovah-Jireh — God our Provider. He provides much more than just our financial needs. Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” When we look to Him, He will supply our needs, so we never lack anything.

Kathleen: We are called to be influencers of God. The Bible says it this way; we are to be a “sweet aroma.” How can we do that in our day-to-day lives?

Lisa: God has given us the capacity to be influencers in our homes, workplace, and community. Our influence is mighty and tangible. As Christ followers, when we walk into a room, lead, work, create, serve, pray, and play, we can dramatically change the atmosphere and people around us. I’ve asked of the Lord not only to use my gifts and talents for His Glory but also to give me the ability to refresh others. People in the world are hurting more than ever before and need to see Jesus in us. When His presence permeates our being, we leave a sweet lasting aroma and show who God is by our love, acts of service, empathy, kindness, and grace that we extend to others.

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Empowering Stories of Forgiveness and How They Can Change the Direction of Our Lives

Empowering Stories of Forgiveness and How They Can Change the Direction of Our Lives

It is easy to become a victim of empty promises and lies in the media and entertainment industry. It’s often not a question of “if” you’ll be cheated or taken advantage of; it’s “when.” Anger is an easy button to push, but when the root of bitterness is bitten, it can cause irrefutable damage.

Stories can help us forgive, keep our integrity and move on.

I frequently look at classic fairy tales to find lessons hidden in them. Like parables that Jesus told, many fairy tales have lessons and wisdom to learn from as we examine them more closely. They can teach us about choices and circumstances that occur in our lives, many of which can happen beyond our control.

The story of Rapunzel is one. It was made famous by the Brothers Grimm in their fairytale book for children, but it’s believed that its roots lay in the third-century Italian story of Saint Barbara, whose father thought her so beautiful that he locked her away. The story through the centuries has had many versions with many different storylines. Most recently, Disney retold the story in their animated version entitled, Tangled.

One of the lessons most popularized from the story is that you can’t keep children from the world’s evils. But I think many have missed other hidden lessons. It’s a story of choosing to take risks and make life-changing choices. It’s a story of being set free from bondage caused by sinful acts done to us, whether intentionally or not. Most importantly, it’s a story of climbing up and down the ladder of forgiveness and love and our ability to maintain our integrity and move on despite what’s happened in our lives.

We often see unforgivable acts that cause pain and suffering as singular actions – “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” However, if you examine unpardonable offenses, one finds that they are usually caused by more profound issues of repeated and layered actions. One of the many versions of Rapunzel’s story tells of her mother, who refuses to eat and yearns only for a root growing in the witch’s garden during her pregnancy. Out of love and concern for his wife’s health, Rapunzel’s father repeatedly steals the witch’s magical root, gets caught and must surrender their child to the witch who locks her in a tower. The love of the prince is Rapunzel’s only escape from her bondage.

Unconditional love is the healing balm for repeated offenses.

Rapunzel’s beauty and eventual saving grace are revealed in the power of her hair. Her hair, like God’s unconditional love, is never cut off but keeps growing longer and stronger year after year. It is her hair that the prince uses to save Rapunzel. It is God’s never-ending unconditional love for us through Prince Jesus that rescued us from our eternal separation from Himself. Jesus was God’s ladder of love used to reach and free us from sin’s bondage. Rapunzel’s hair was woven – braided in three substantial sections of hair which allowed her to be rescued. God’s love and forgiveness are also interwoven with the strength of three – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit  which provide us with an unbreakable bond.

It’s our inability to escape our sins that requires God’s never-ending forgiveness.

Jesus, our ladder of love and forgiveness, is thrown to us daily so we may escape the entrapment of sin. As long as we’re entrapped in this world, we will never be able to stop making sinful choices. Our only hope is to recognize our need for God’s escape ladder – Jesus.

The book of Hosea in the Bible tells the story of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness for us. Often misunderstood because of its sexual themes, Hosea is far from a tale of sexual lust and fantasy consequences. Instead, it is the story of God’s unrelenting forgiveness for our continual sinning. He may allow our deserved punishment, but He’ll never abandon us. 

Stories make us think and hear God’s voice.

God used the parable of Hosea and his marriage to a prostitute for us to understand the height, length and depth of His love and forgiveness, and the reason why Jesus came and sacrificed His life for us. Prince Jesus scaled sin’s tower to reach the depths of our hearts. Then God commands us to forgive just as He forgave us. He urges us to fix our eyes on Jesus, who empowers us and allows our eyes to be opened to those entrapped in the bondage of their sin and to forgive those who have caused us pain and suffering. It enables us to turn from anger and the root of bitterness we may have eaten and then clasp onto God’s powerful, forgiving love. Like the voice of the prince whom Rapunzel heard while in her tower, God allows us to hear His unique voice and the heart song of Jesus.

On February 24th, The Influence Lab will host producer Cindy Bond of Mission Pictures International in a free online event. Her newly released film, Redeeming Love, from the best-selling novel by Francine Rivers, was inspired by the book of Hosea. I will interview Cindy, and we will examine the challenges of making the movie and how its story of forgiveness and love is so needed in our culture today. Redeeming Love, like the story of Rapunzel, reveals the effects of evil, choosing to obey God’s direction and not our own, and how His plans for us bring renewed life and a way forward.

Can you hear the Prince of Peace’s voice in your life? Don’t let unforgivable acts keep you entrapped. God desires you to be set free and to live happily ever after.

Don’t miss the Influence Lab webinar featuring Cindy Bond on February 24. Sign up today for this free on-iine event! Register here.

An INNER VIEW with Leading Researcher, Kay Edwards

An INNER VIEW with Leading Researcher, Kay Edwards

BIO

Kay is the Chief Knowledge and Research officer at the DXM Institute for Changemaking Innovation. Hailed as the “The Questions Lady,” Kay is a national leader in research for faith-based and mission-driven organizations. For more than 30 years, she has provided customer research, market analytics, planning, collaboration management, and organizational development to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including Cru, Chick-Fil-A, and Thrivent. In her knowledge-leadership role for DXM™ Institute, Kay drives the development of the Institute’s platform. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of listening and relationship-building strategies for leaders, understanding what customers value, and how generational change impacts organizations. Kay believes that great leaders don’t have better answers; they ask better questions. Her greatest joy is helping leaders understand what the world most needs their organizations to do.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: Today’s culture is about wanting clarity, so your job as a researcher is vital. The facts tell the truth but not always the whole story. We are bombarded with identity dysphoria today. What has God been teaching you through your work and perspective on why knowing who we are in Him is how we can know the facts and the whole story?

Kay Edwards: That He has called me perfect, not because of anything I have done, but because of what He has done. His finished work is my identity. Too often, women are taught to work hard to be good so that they can be loved. I have lived too much of my life terrified of not getting it right, terrified that God would be disappointed in me.

When I was growing, up my parents taught me that no matter how hard I tried, I could never please God and that He was always angry with me for not being good enough. If I had set out to create a belief system to drive someone intentionally away from God, that would have been it, and I am saddened that that was the best my parents had to offer. How terrified they must have been, too.

I am just now learning how settled God’s love is, how the moment I accepted Jesus, God’s love settled around me like clear Jesus skin that God sees me through. I don’t have to earn His love. I am inside of His love forever. I am inside of Him.

Kathleen: As you began to grasp your identity in Him and knowing that you have been made perfect through nothing you can do but through Christ’s redemptive love, what steps did you take to grow that trust within yourself?

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