Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Offering Hope: Restored Heart Ministries

Have you ever felt utterly alone? Have you felt as if the pressure of the entire world is pressing heavily upon your shoulders? Have you ever felt beyond redemption? You are not alone. Most people, when being totally honest, will admit that they have had a time in their life when they too have felt this way. There is hope! This hope comes from Christ and the redemption He freely offers to all who ask. No one is beyond redemption. Today, I would like to introduce you to my dear friend and sister in Christ, Amy Barto. Amy has answered God's call and founded Restored Heart Ministries through which she offers hope to those who are hurting.

Who is Amy Barto?

First and foremost, I am forgiven! I am charismatic, animated, spontaneous, loving, giving, and passionate about life.  I am a mother, an encourager, an uplifter.  I make mistakes, but God teaches me valuable lessons through trials and I pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going.  

I knew God was calling me to start my own ministry.  One day, while I was having a yard sale at my house, I was going through names in my head.  I spent several hours trying to come up with something and then I finally stopped, prayed, and asked God what he wanted the name to be.  He gave me the name Restored.  I fell in love. Obviously, because God doesn't have bad ideas ;) I came across a picture of a heart, that had a band-aide on it and it was all stitched up.  The Lord told me that this was going to be my logo and gave me the verse; "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds...." Psalms 147:3.  

Where do you draw inspiration from your devotional blog posts and the inspirational messages you give during speaking engagements?

My posts for the blog come to me throughout the day.  God speaks to me in the funniest ways.  He uses my children quite often to teach me some very valuable lessons.  I also spend a lot of time reading the word and watching sermons and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in what to write about ;)

My messages that I give during our speaking engagements come from my testimony, or also known as my life's trials and tribulations.  My life hasn't been an easy road.  Through it all, the Lord has given me wisdom, understanding and courage to share the embarrassing, painful, yet truthful story of my life to others to help bring "restoration" to them.  I am so thankful and feel so blessed to be able to be used as a vessel for God! 

What is the mission statement of Restored Heart Ministries? 

Our mission statement is simple:  Love. Encourage. Uplift.  

God has called us to love one another:  Ephesians 5:1-2
God has called us to encourage one another:  1 Thessalonians 4:18
God has called us to uplift one another:  Colossians 3:16

What is your favorite scripture verse?

Psalms 139:14: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well..." 

What advice would you share with someone who is feeling led by God to share His love and hope with others?

DO IT! :)  Not only do you get to be a light in someone else's darkness and give hope, but it brings about a tremendous amount of healing for yourself.  There are bits and pieces of my testimony that I don't share publicly yet because I feel that God wants me to hold onto them and share with others, on a one on one basis, to help bring healing.  

When we share our story, it brings healing and the devil gets TICKED off because he doesn't want us to have freedom. There is a sweet release and freedom in your soul that happens when you share how God pulled you through the darkest of time.  I say SHARE SHARE SHARE your story!  And most importantly you give the Glory back to God to show how he restored you back to wholeness!! 

What words of encouragement would you like to share with readers today?

If you are going through a rough time, remember that it is temporary and through it all God will teach you a valuable lesson in it.  Hold onto his promises and know that where there is light (Him) there can't be any darkness ;) 

What has God been teaching you lately?

God has actually been speaking to me a lot lately about how to stop seeking man's approval.  I know it sounds like a simple concept, but in starting this ministry there is a lot of emotions that get stirred up in your soul.  

There are people who said they were behind me and supported me but have yet to say an encouraging word or even refusing to like the page on facebook.    

I know I'm outing myself on how petty that sounds but I'm just being completely honest and it hurts. But then God used my good friend Donna Jean to speak an uplifting and encouraging word into my life. She said, "What does it matter who does and doesn't like the page?  God likes the page, and that's all that matters!"  So true! He is the one that called me to start this ministry, not anyone else. 

Sometimes, and I'm sure you all can relate especially when life starts getting busy, we lose our focus and we forget Who called us and Why we are doing what we are doing.  

So all in all, God has been teaching me to CONSTANTLY give everything back to him.  Every thought, every idea, every move, goes back to him, to make sure that I am doing what He has called me to do.  

Where can readers learn more about you and Restored Heart Ministries?

Feel free to stop by our website!  You and go to www.amybarto.com or www.restoredheartministries.com.  

Thank you, Kelly, for giving me an opportunity to share our ministry with your readers! I am so thankful and blessed to call you friend! 

It has been my pleasure, Amy. Thank you for coming to visit with me today and for sharing what God has placed upon your heart with my readers. 

If you are hurting and need prayer, Amy and I would be honored to lift you in prayer. You can either leave a comment here, contact Amy through her site, or contact me.

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