AlongTheWay

Finding Joy in the Journey - Amy Schafer's Journey AlongTheWay Ep 03

April 15, 2019 John Matarazzo / Amy Schafer Season 1 Episode 3
AlongTheWay
Finding Joy in the Journey - Amy Schafer's Journey AlongTheWay Ep 03
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AlongTheWay
Finding Joy in the Journey - Amy Schafer's Journey AlongTheWay Ep 03
Apr 15, 2019 Season 1 Episode 3
John Matarazzo / Amy Schafer

Amy Schafer is a Pastor and Co-Host for the RealLife TV show. She tells how her journey into ministry started in musical theater, then a phone call from a man she hadn't met before changed her destiny now she is Co-pastoring a thriving church and co-hosting a TV show.

Show Notes Transcript

Amy Schafer is a Pastor and Co-Host for the RealLife TV show. She tells how her journey into ministry started in musical theater, then a phone call from a man she hadn't met before changed her destiny now she is Co-pastoring a thriving church and co-hosting a TV show.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AlongTheWay)

Amy Schafer :

You would have told me that 10 years ago, I would have said, You're crazy. I don't even see how that could happen. I don't even see how God can turn that around it. It was such a dark time. But there there was that that joyful expectation, there was that hope that God said Pittsburgh, God will make away and I can trust them.

John Matarazzo :

Welcome to along the way. I'm John Matarazzo your hosts and fellow traveler, thank you for joining me on my journey as I try to become more like Jesus every day. I love when I have the opportunity to talk with fascinating people and learn how God has met them along their way. I believe that everyone has a story, and we can all learn from each other's journeys. Through my work as a TV producer, I get to interact with some of the most amazing people making an incredible impact for God's kingdom. In this episode of along the way, my journey connects me with Pastor Amy Schafer of grace Life Church, who was also one of the longest running hosts of TV program that I produce real life. Enjoy this episode of along the way. Me, thank you for being on along the way. I enjoy working with you with the real life program at Cornerstone network for the last five years or so now. And it's been it's been a real blessing. So I want to be able to kind of introduce you to the listeners to my podcast.

Amy Schafer :

We have been along the way for five plus years now. Yeah. And so you know, you get to really know people when you're with them five years, you know, you get to see him mad, you get to see him in the the celebration, seasons of life. And so you're one of those solid, steady guys along the journey that you know, I kind of always know Well, I'm like yourself acclaimed older sister. And so I give you my opinions freely. So anyway, you're you're very dear in both buck and eyes life. And I feel like we're always going to be looking out for you. I appreciate along the way. I appreciate it.

John Matarazzo :

Yes, with the with the along the way, though. You've been walking with the Lord longer than I have. And you and your husband buck, our pastors have a thriving church. And I'm excited about what God is doing with you guys. And it's a very unique call. But I want to hear about your story and kind of leading into that. So could you tell me a little bit about your background? Because you haven't always lived in the Pittsburgh area? No. And so how did you kind of get from and we're actually we're recording this in your church right now. So there's some, there's some there's some noises that that are happening back there. There's some people getting ready for think worship practices,

Unknown Speaker :

life. So we'll

John Matarazzo :

see how much it gets picked up throughout here. But yeah, so tell me a little bit about your journey to how you are where you are right now.

Amy Schafer :

Yeah. So I was about 18 months old, I promise. I won't tell you every detail from 18 months on, but 18 months, you know, I looked at a picture of Jesus and with my mom and dad there and I said, oh, whoa, whoa, which was my name for Santa Claus. And so mom and dad said, You know what, we need to get Amy planted in the church, like she needs to know who Jesus is, we need to be that my mom and dad were believers. But it wasn't like, we have to be plugged into a church, we have to get her in the word. And so anyway, that was the deciding factor. We they got me planted in a local church, and we were in a church for 35 years. And I really, I grew such a deep love and have the word of the local church of missions, you know, and and the church that we were planted in, actually grew to be a mega church in a coma city of 6500 seat auditorium. When we had dramas, there were camels coming down the I also I mean, it was, it was a no joke, incredible church that was life giving. And, and I really I grew. That's where I learned who I was in Christ and my parents. We were there. My dad's an engineer, my we were at church more than probably my kids are at church today as a pastor's kid, like we were there three to four times a week, you know, in Bible studies and youth groups, and oh, so we went to Sunday school, Sunday morning and Sunday night school, or Sunday evening church. And so that's kind of my background. I just grew up knowing that I love Jesus, and Jesus loves me, john, I can't even remember the day that I said, I want to accept Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I just always, I always loved him. He always loved me. So at some point along the now I probably prayed it a million times. But I don't remember that one day where it was like darkness to light. I feel like I I grew up in the light.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah, that's a good place to be it. It really is. Yeah. I love that. You You're just saying that. You know you. You missed a Jesus for Santa. Your parents said, Oh, we need to make sure we get this straightened out. And that really the path that was the path? Yeah, very beginning.

Amy Schafer :

Right. And they both of their parents are saved. I mean, my great, great grandma was on a wagon heading to a revival tent revival. So I mean that we have a back rich background. We're not first generation Christians were like fourth generation believers. Mom and Dad had moved to a college town. They wanted us to think bigger as kids, they wanted us, you know where the University of Oklahoma is. I'm going to insert Boomer Sooner. Because I'm sooner born sooner bred sooner living when I die, I'll be sooner dead. You know that. Those deep, deep roots. And then so that's that's kind of where it all began. So I love the Lord and I love what the local church can do in a believer through navigating the the journey of life.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah. So I think one of the most important things that we can do as we're growing with the Lord is hearing his voice. Yeah. And I wish I could remember the exact first time that I heard the voice of the Lord, but I remember some of the early times. What do you remember the first thing that God spoke to you? And what was that?

Amy Schafer :

Yeah, well, I remember a really significant time that the first major significant time that God spoke to me, okay, in the in the church, we're doing the Easter drama, the code, and I'm probably 1819 am at Oklahoma City University as a musical theater major. And cuz my voice teacher was phenomenal. Florence Birdwell and 90% of her students went to Broadway. Oh, my goodness in China with was several years ahead of me. She was her voice teacher. So I was in like heaven there, you know, just and, and I'm getting ready to do the dramas I'm the lead in the play at at the church and and I'm playing Mary Magdalene, the demon possessed prostitute, which I played her several times, and I'll just which was this won't be offended, which plays this. It's for Easter, it was like, in house and we were telling the story through her eyes. And, and the curtains dropped. I hear the people. And it's total darkness. I'm standing by myself and I hear the voice of God say and and I'm going to say it was almost the audible voice of God, it was that strong that clear that loud and he said, I want you to go to Rima Bible school, and you will minister to thousands people. And I went, unlike I'm just standing there and I'm thinking, Okay, I'll kind of tuck that away, because I'm getting ready to do the drama, right? And I'm thinking What a weird random time dimension. I hadn't heard of Rima Bible school. I had no idea where it was. What and I'm thinking that's a really strange word from God. Then I asked a couple of older women in our church, you know, who know everything about God in life, whatever. So they said, Yeah, Rima Bible schools in Tulsa, that's Kennedy Hagen's school. It's a word of faith school we love right. And I'm and it's only an hour and a half away from Oklahoma City, which I can't believe I hadn't even heard of it. You know, Oral Roberts University can at The Hague, and these are like legends of the faith

John Matarazzo :

really, like modern day father's?

Amy Schafer :

Father, totally. And so I immediately I told my mom, I said, God call me to go to Bible School. Like that. I was on a jury john along the path that kind of trying to figure it out myself, you know, well, I love singing, I love theatre, I love being bigger than life. I think I'll just maybe lean toward theater and you know, maybe Broadway and get everybody saved. And here, God stops me along the path. While I'm in his house with his people. I'm getting ready to lift him up. We're getting ready to see thousands of people saved. And he speaks to me. I want you to go to Bible School. Wow, game changer.

John Matarazzo :

Absolutely. Yeah, game changer. So you were already on a path where you knew the gifts that God has given you. You want to use them for His glory. However it whether it be Christian plays or whatever, on Broadway, you will be a light in a very dark place. Right? And then God speaks to you have totally changed your path.

Amy Schafer :

Yeah. Well, and I think about how everything that's happened today. And really, the whole 20 plus years after that is affected by that one moment where I heard God's voice and chose to obey, I could have ignored it and went along my own path, right. But I said, Mom, Dad, God's called me to go to Bible school, and they're kind of like, okay, you know, just Jesus helper, Jesus. First one, you know, to, okay, good a ministry, school in the family.

John Matarazzo :

So your dad is an engineer, what does your mom,

Amy Schafer :

my dad's a mechanical engineer, and he's very, very smart. And he just didn't understand ever why I didn't like math or science and Dad, I just download. It's not for me and my mom. She worked in the Postal Service, actually, and had a great job actually made more money than my dad for years, helped put him through school. And then, of course, ended up helping him and his business. She's like, his right arm, you know, go But

John Matarazzo :

yeah, so they, they really helped you. I mean, from the time you're 18 months, and I'm sure they're still now even speaking into your life, but they really cultivated this.

Amy Schafer :

My mom and dad were the reflection of the Heavenly Father on Earth, even to this day. Like, when I think about the power and the influence of a mother and a father. I thank God for them. They, they were not perfect, but they invested in my life. They told me not Oh, you're an Allen, you're an Allen. They said, Amy, this is who you are in Christ. You're a daughter of the Most High God, dad and mom would lead me post it notes. You know, you're, you're incredible. You rock you're smart. You're awesome. You know, everywhere you go, people listening you have, like, constantly infiltrated making life and do speaking life into me, me my whole entire life. Which coming to Pittsburgh now. And getting almost the brains beat out of me here in ministry, front line, planting and pioneering a church when it wasn't popular know, and there were no schools to show you how to plant and Pioneer a church. And how that how their words over me and how they taught me who I was in Christ, insulated me for what life was going to bring. Yeah.

John Matarazzo :

So you just mentioned that you came to Pittsburgh and started a church and you didn't do that alone. No. I'd like to introduce your husband, Bruce Wayne, Buck Schaefer into this

Amy Schafer :

plane. Yeah, the past. I do too. Yeah, his nicknames book, which came from his grandfather, who called Little Bucky. And yeah, he's pastor McDreamy, he's

John Matarazzo :

cracks me up every time you say that. I know. It's coming out.

Unknown Speaker :

I mean, I just wanted to tell everybody, he's the hottest pastor. He gets mad when I save it. I'm like your smile. It's it's kind of like I

John Matarazzo :

love it. Because I've heard so many male pastors saying my wife is the hottest and you know, it makes them blush. And to know that you're doing that to your husband, and it makes him Yeah, embarrassed is

Unknown Speaker :

Hey, after 23 years, man, you gotta keep the flames burden, you know, put logs on the map. So how did you meet?

John Matarazzo :

Yeah, well, by is that obviously was a change in direction to some degree.

Amy Schafer :

Well, yeah, Major, I mean, meeting Jesus, and the marrying your spouse to most important decisions that you'll ever have in life. So I go to Bible school, I'm in Bible school with all of his brothers and sisters, like they're all there in class with me. They're giving me pictures, videos, you got to meet him. purple box is

John Matarazzo :

his siblings are trying to set you up.

Amy Schafer :

They are totally setting me up. And they call me to their house for dinner. And he calls on the phone. I know, he wasn't there, because he was already out in ministry as a youth pastor, associate pastor, and I go, Hello, this is Amy. And he goes, I'm gonna marry you.

John Matarazzo :

That's that's your introduction,

Amy Schafer :

my introduction. And I said, I'm going to marry you. I knew it when I heard his voice. And he said the same. So now, just so our listening audience doesn't freak out right now. We dated two years before we got married. We proved out the will of God. But that's very important.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah, it really is. It is. Yeah. Don't Don't just jump into the into what you think is the will of God ahead of his timing. So how did you stay patient during this process?

Unknown Speaker :

You better talk about patience.

Amy Schafer :

You know, it was pretty easy because I was in Bible school. And I, you know, I just wanted to focus and finish. And you know, he was doing stuff in ministry, and you know, everything is beautiful in God's time. And if it were any sooner, I think it would feel forced and rush. And if it wasn't me later, might feel like a little too long. So it was just, it was in perfect timing. So we got married at 22 years old. And I was 22. He was 26. And then we started traveling in the ministry. And we went all over the world. We were in like, Europe for a month we were in the Czech Republic. Before it was what we were in Czechoslovakia before it broke up. Yeah. So we traveled all over head take big tech crusades, and then we were back at our house and we felt like God calling us

John Matarazzo :

you're back in your house. Where's in

Amy Schafer :

Norman, Oklahoma, because we kind of pioneered out of their brand, did ministry out of my home church. People were supporting us monthly and say, you know, like a good, healthy ministry. And I would sing he preach and it was great. Well, then we're feeling something like maybe planting a church. Well, we had good friends and Vienna, Austria, which of Vienna, Austria is beautiful. And they have a great Bible school. We thought you know what will clean a great church there be perfect. So we're kind of heading that direction, kind of in our own thoughts. And he prayed, I prayed. And when I when I went away, I heard God say one word. And it was really clear and really strong. And that was Pittsburgh. And he he comes in the room and he says, Amy, we're not going to Vienna. He goes, I want you to pray about it. And I said, we're going to Pittsburgh, and he said, Yep.

John Matarazzo :

Wow. Done deal. So Pittsburgh wasn't even on on the board. At this point. No, that's it.

Amy Schafer :

Well, Buck was like, I do not want to go back to Pittsburgh, because he was born here. He was born in Penn hills area. Born and raised till he was 10. Then his whole family moved to Tulsa when he was 10 years old. Most of his growing up years were in Oklahoma. And he thought, you know, Lord, I'll go anywhere, just probably not back to Pittsburgh. Now, Pittsburgh, I mean, I will fight people over Pittsburgh, I think Pittsburgh is so incredible. This is my promise land. This is the place God has called me. This is the place God's blessing me. This is the place where I had my beautiful children and have really worked out the plan and will of God. And so I feel bad for everybody that doesn't live in Pittsburgh, amen.

John Matarazzo :

Same way to I try to be very practical in my approach towards life. Yeah, I want to know why we do things a certain way, or why we're taking the steps that we're taking. But for you, what are some practical steps that you took, you know that you wouldn't be where you are today, if you didn't do this practical thing? And it might be a big choice. It might be something like that. But what are some practical steps, practical advice that you could give me from your walk with the Lord?

Amy Schafer :

Well, okay, I pray and I obey. I mean, here's the deal. We pray about stuff. And then we feel an action from God to do something, we we feel like he's leading us some way. And then we expect it's somehow just going to magically happen. We have to obey. And if you obey, and he's asking you to do something, you're gonna have to step out in faith. Like when God called us to Pittsburgh, we didn't have the money. We didn't even have a house to move into here. We didn't have people on waiting here for us to get here to start a church. We had nothing but a word from God. He said, Pittsburgh, and it was like, we're going to obey him. And he's going to work it out. Now, I mean, there's things I would maybe do differently as far as planning now that I know 20, you know, two years later, but I mean, you can't get stuck in like paralyzed mode, or a fear of, I feel God telling me to do this. But I, you just don't take the step. Because the next step doesn't always make sense. The next step is uncomfortable. The next step isn't easy. The next step, it's going to be challenging. The next step is you're going to have to trust God more. So I'd say pray and obey. That's

John Matarazzo :

super practical, but that obeying part is really difficult. Yeah. It's, it's a simple thing, but it's not easy.

Amy Schafer :

Faith without works. Is Dead. Dead. Yeah. So I mean, you can't you can't steer. You can only steer a moving car. You can't steer a dead car to call it It wasn't idle car. I mean, you've got to be in motion in movement, even if you miss it a little bit. God has this like GPS, they'll get your right back, it will reroute you and get you right back on track.

John Matarazzo :

I love that about God. Yeah, yeah. He he cares more about us getting to the destination that He has for us, but that we're growing along the way, and that we're becoming more like Him in the process. Yeah, that's been that's a big part of a big part of my life right now. So you'd mentioned some difficulties. And in this kind of analogy that I'm using about Gino traveling the road, and what are some detours that you might have faced? And what is it what some advice that you would give me to avoid some of those same detours?

Amy Schafer :

Yeah, well, some some detours what think that all of hell is going to try to keep you from fulfilling your God given purpose. Because there is nothing more scary and more concerning to the enemy than a daughter or a son of God that wakes up every morning knows who they are plants their feet on the ground and goes out to do the kingdom purposes, the kingdom will of God and, and even if you're not in ministry, you're in business. When my dad got up in the morning and did engineering. His engineering firm, really helped establish this church. I mean, dad had always give it to nonprofits, to churches to blessing others. I mean, be be a scared to the, to the kingdom of darkness and do something great for God. I think that's a huge detour. One thing, one challenge that I had was, you know, I was the first one in my family going into ministry. It was a whole unworn path. Nobody knew that look like I'm a female pastor. Yeah, I mean, that's a whole other. Even right now john in 2019, in the area of Pittsburgh. I'm one of the only women operating as a senior pastor co lead in a church. I remember going to conferences, and they would they would take the pastors wives in one room, and the pastors in another room. And I was I was so torn because I'm like, I'm a pastor. But yes, I'm a pastor's wife. And I would go to the pastors, wives groups, and they'd all be crying about how people are talking about them, or, you know, got their number. And I just thought this is pithily. I mean, I mean, I'm not saying it's not important. It's just like, I'm doing strategic development, like staffing and hiring and directional and teaching and preaching. Like, I just was not, I just had that call more of a pastor on me, which was developed over time. That didn't just happen when we first moved here. And Cornerstone had a great part to play in that actually, really?

John Matarazzo :

Yeah. Tell me about that. Well,

Amy Schafer :

okay. So we, when we were in this, probably the middle season of planting the church, my husband said, hey, let's plant a church in Oklahoma. I'm like, Really?

John Matarazzo :

So you're in Pittsburgh, and you want to you came from Oklahoma and you want to? planetary did?

Amy Schafer :

Yeah. So we planted a church back there. And he was flying back and forth every other week. And the Lord spoke to him and said, Tell Amy, it's time now. Because I am supportive. I'm his biggest cheerleader. I'm not trying to take over. I'm not trying to preach every message. I'm not trying to be seen and heard. I'm, I want to do everything I can to build the local church, whatever my part is to play in that is great with me. And so he said, Amy, it's time to preach to me and I said, Oh, Jesus, help me. The amount of work and sacrifice and study that goes into developing and preparing messages, I don't think people quite understand.

John Matarazzo :

I've preached a couple of times in my life, that it's it's not to the same degree. Yeah.

Amy Schafer :

I mean, it's basically like writing that 20 page paper in college that you have to give. You know, I mean, you're just studying and studying and getting the material so deep. And I had three small children. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Two, and then. And then we added Judah, and it was a lot. And he's traveling, and I'm by myself, and I'm preaching and and I just felt like the Lord say to me, whatever the question is, yes, is my answer. Like, yes, I'll do it. Ask me anything. I'll do it. So I thought, I'm never going to complain about this. I'm just going to step out and do it. And so I'm preaching all the sudden, every other week, people are calling me pass rainy. I older men are like, hey, Pastor Amy, you know, I never said, Excuse me, church. I'm now pastor Amy, I'm no longer Amy forget that. I'm Pastor it that that wasn't how it happened. I started operating as a pastor. And that call and grace came upon me, and people noticed it. And I

John Matarazzo :

believe that's how a pastor should be identified anyway, right? Because you say I'm a pastor, because you're already operating in that.

Amy Schafer :

Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And in, in a culture where it's so much about titles, really, the kingdom of God is not about titles at all. It's like, can you be a servant? Can you can you wash your feet? Can you we have some servant leaders. And, and so when he was away, one of the producers at Cornerstone is sitting in the church. And he's Look, he said, You know what? She'd be great on TV, I think, geez. And so I think you ought to try out for this thing called sister to sister, which, tomorrow we're celebrating five years of programming, sister to

John Matarazzo :

sister that's exciting.

Amy Schafer :

It's exciting. I mean, a half hour program, with five women discussing hard issues. It's It's incredible. And it's

John Matarazzo :

basically the same original five, five women. Yeah, yeah, we've had a couple that have had to fill in whatever, somebody hasn't been able to make it. But that's a lot of a lot of questions. That's a lot of being real. Yeah. Hon. on TV. Yeah. In front of a lot of people. Yeah. How does that make you feel? Knowing that you've been, you've been a part of something for like that for five years.

Amy Schafer :

It's kind of been a light, it feels like a long time. And then sometimes it seems like a really short amount of time, it makes me feel like my life is richer for knowing these girls, that some of the things we talked about even some of the ways that they think challenge the way that I think it's really, really good to hear people that don't have the same perspective as you do. Otherwise, you get tunnel vision. And then you see where someone's coming from, and then you it helps you relate to other people you might meet along the path. And you're like, Oh, that's, that's going to help me. I know that personality. I know that style. I know that mindset. And, and, and here's how I can, you know, come alongside and talk and work together. What happened

John Matarazzo :

in your life that showed you that Jesus was walking with you, but you didn't see it? Or you didn't realize it until much later? Yeah. Do you have any examples? Oh, I give you some time to think about that. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker :

yeah.

Amy Schafer :

Well, the one major major thing was about 10 years into church planting. We had put a lot of money into a really big building. And it was, it was a signet, hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was like everything, we had everything the church, and it ended up not working out. And the money actually was stolen from us. Yes. And through a series of events, and it was not right. It wasn't fair. And we thought we didn't want to take church money and fight it in court. So we had to trust God. So so now we're at a point where we've lost all this money. We can't divulge all the details for legality reasons. And we're totally trusting God. I mean, it was like us and God. Plus, we have hundreds of people now that we need to take to another building. And it's like, what do you do? When everything seems to be shutting down? Everything seems to be closing. And we just had to trust God. So if you could just get in that moment, no money, no building, people talking. And and you and you're questioning God? Do you still want me here? Like it? Or are the doors closing? As you know, should I go where were we heard this all the time, go where your celebrated. During this time, we got an offer at a large church with a large sum of money, with everything taken care of out of state. And when buck and I prayed, we heard that word, Pittsburgh. And we're like, oh, my gosh. So we knew that God was going to work it out and be involved. years down the road, live in furniture gives us for a tax write off. I huge building on five acres of property for free. We sit today in this same area, with assets of $5.5 million. That's what it just came back estimated that just this property alert. So john, if you would have told me that 10 years ago, I would have said You're crazy. I don't even see how that could happen. And we can see how God can turn that around. It was such a dark time. But there there was that that joyful expectation. There was that hope. God said Pittsburgh, God will make away and I can trust him.

John Matarazzo :

That's really like knowing that God spoke to you about something. Yeah, you stick with it. Because God said it. That settles it. I believe it. Yeah. And we need to you know, we need to dig deeper for a lot of those things. But when God speaks to you word is confirmed and you know it in your heart. Yeah, that helps you get through some of those hard times.

Amy Schafer :

I think it's really scary, john, that people bail before they see the the fruit of all of the seed and the harvest that they planted and dug up. It gets hard. Yeah, life gets hard. But God is faithful. God is good. And you can trust them. And so I we, you know, my husband, I we make a choice. We will be the most consistent steady thing and people's lives. We will we God said Pittsburgh, we are here. I mean, we're going to be buried in Monroeville somewhere right along that somewhere significant. I don't know where a significant cemetery is. But I'm, you've got to stay during the hard, he better stay put during the hard times.

John Matarazzo :

What advice do you have for me? As a 34 year old guy? Yeah, that I've gone through some hard times in my life. What is some advice that you can give me give to the people that are listening? About? How do you actually do that when you're face to face with those opportunities to quit?

Amy Schafer :

Yeah. Okay. So you have to have a deep sense of joy. This is where that fruit of joy comes into play. Because that joy in your life will act as a boo and see it will like literally help you float above the circumstances. And I can say pray and faith and all of this stuff. But I'm telling you, when buck walked into the house that day, I'll never forget, I put on music. And I said, we're going to dance and we danced. And you know what you just you cannot let the heaviness the pressures of life just sit on you and oh, pressure you and depress you, where you feel like you can't breathe, you can't move, you have anxiety, you need medication. Because guess what, sometimes some seasons in life are going to be heavy. And that is to me, where that deep joy of the Lord will come through. And it's like, haha, I don't know how God's gonna work this out. But it's going to be crazy good because God is faithful when you're reading the Word and the stories of the Bible. And your faith is building. It's like, God has to come through. He's a good father. He's a loving father. And he has a great plan. He's not going to let me fail.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah, that's great. I appreciate that advice. Putting on joy there seriously enough praise for the spirit of heaviness. Yeah. And that's it. Give me some ideas on how to do that. Yeah, I'm face to face with an opportunity to quit.

Amy Schafer :

Maybe watch funny movies, funny videos back. I mean, laugh, go do something fun. Like, try to break that spirit of heaviness over your life.

Unknown Speaker :

Yeah, God is fun. Right? church appeal. So absolutely.

John Matarazzo :

I love it. That's my, you have that all over the place here. God is fun. So church to be also, Amy, if you could go back in the past and talk to the younger version of yourself. What advice would you give yourself? And do you think you'd actually listen to yourself? What time frame would that be?

Amy Schafer :

Totally listened to myself? Because I'm so I like myself. I would go back to 23 years old. Okay, wait. 2323 is when we came up here to plant the church. And I just remember that young, fresh Amy, it was sort of like the honeymoon stage with God and leaving mom and dad leaving home. And it's like this whole new journey and adventure. But you know, planting a church in the North East is no joke. And it is hard. And if the like for years, we were pushing a big boulder. So I would tell that 23 year old Amy, that what they meant for bad or what the enemy meant for bad God is going to turn it around for good. And then I would look ahead and I would say oh, this is a rough spot. But I know that God's going to turn it around for good. Everything. There is nothing bad, nothing too traumatic, nothing. So major that can happen in your life that God cannot somehow turn it around and it works out for your good and for the benefit of others.

John Matarazzo :

That's awesome. Do you have a life verse? I have three, you got three.

Amy Schafer :

And they it's interesting because they kind of tied together. Okay. Psalm 9213, those planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. Okay, I love God's house. I love the local church.

John Matarazzo :

I'm sensing that theme through the

Amy Schafer :

Philippines for 13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So guess what, because I love God's house, and I want people to flourish in God's house. He's going to give me the strength that I need to fulfill that God given purpose. And then john 1633, in this world, you're going to have tribulation, trials, tests and troubles, but be of good cheer. I've overcome the world. So listen, I'm planting God's house, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me even though I go through troubles and hardships, I can be of good cheer, because he has overcome the world. And that's exactly my three

John Matarazzo :

core scriptures. Those are very good. And like how you they build on each other the way you explain that to Yeah. I think you covered a lot of the stuff that I've talked about, but how do you apply God's revelation to your daily life?

Amy Schafer :

Well, first of all, the key word is that you're getting revelation from God every day. I mean, every day. Is the Bible necessary? Yeah. Bible reading is essential to a daily Christian life. How do you get revelation from God, if you're not in the word and hearing his voice, the very breath of God that wrote the scriptures, the very life of God, the bread of life, we have to be in the Bible, so therefore we can get revelation, right, and that we can hear God's voice, my sheep, know my voice, he's a good shepherd, he wants to guide us, lead us, direct us, show us our purpose, along the path of life and the hard times of life. We need to be getting Revelation, this insight, this, aha, this, this clarity, and that's only going to happen if you're in the Bible. So how do you apply that to your life? You just do it? How do you apply the revelation? God, God showed me something, okay? Now, do it. Don't be scared. Don't let fear dominate your life. Don't let fear control you. Don't let fear paralyze you. Just do it. Whatever, whatever that revelation is. Just walk in it, walk in the fullness of it. I hope you have a revelation that you're healed. I hope you have a revelation that you have joy. I hope you have a revelation that how much God loves you and cares for you how your favorite son or daughter, I hope you have a revelation about how God wants to prosper everything that you put your hands to, the only way you're going to get revelations in the Word of God. And then when you got that you've got cut everything in life.

John Matarazzo :

Amen. Amen. What books would you what book or books would you recommend would be an impact for my life?

Amy Schafer :

Okay, well, it's specifically for purpose,

John Matarazzo :

or anything or anything?

Amy Schafer :

Well, I think one for sure, would be the authority of the believer by Kenneth E. Hagen. Here's what happens sometimes with believers, they they go to the cross, right. And thank you, Jesus for the cross. Thank you for saving me. They never go past the cross into the epistles where the church is established, and they don't find out who they are in Christ. They don't find out everything that Christ died and purchase for them to live. Because he went to the cross. He's not only giving us eternal life, but like we see on TV, he's giving us a abundant life. What is that abundant life? That's exactly what Christ wants you to walk in. So the authority of the believer shows who you are in Christ and all that he purchased for you another great book plans, purposes and pursuits. You know, by Kenneth Hagen. Also, if you're looking for your God given purpose in life, that is a great book to start.

John Matarazzo :

Thank you, Amy. Just want to give you an opportunity to talk about your church a little bit and just briefly, like how do people get to get ahold of your church or find out more about that?

Amy Schafer :

Yeah, Grace life church.tv or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, we're pretty busy on the social media. And we're just a life giving church. All are welcome here. We're here to lift up Jesus, we're here to, to make him famous. We're here to make fully devoted followers of Christ to love people. We want people to know that they belong. They don't have to behave first before they come to church or come to God, just God loves you. He has a great plan for you. And we want people to find God and when they find God, they're going to find life.

John Matarazzo :

Amy, thank you so much for being my guest on along the way.

Amy Schafer :

Thank you, john.

John Matarazzo :

And I love working with you at some real life on Cornerstone network.

Unknown Speaker :

It's great. You're a great boss, your great TV boss.

John Matarazzo :

I just help guide you to Hey, this is your

Unknown Speaker :

Oh, you are the boss that you're like enough. Thank you very much for your like wrap it up. Okay john wrap it up right up this podcast.

John Matarazzo :

As you can probably tell, Amy is a lot of fun to be around and to work with. A theme that I kept noticing from this conversation with Amy is joy, choosing joy, the fruit of joy, a deep sense of joy, joyful expectation. Joy is a good descriptor for pastor Amy. And she has joy because she is secure in her identity with God. I like to think that I choose joy. But the truth is I'm often worried about my future and navigating through difficult times. I appreciate Amy's practical advice to me, of even watching funny videos to help cultivate laughter and fun, which leads to joy and breaking that spirit of heaviness. When Amy talked about having joyful expectation, because they knew that God said Pittsburgh, God will make away and I can trust in him that caused my heart to burn. It's tempting to cut and run during the hard times. But it takes courage to stay put, pray and obey. When you take your next step with God, you need even more faith for the next step. Wow. That's one challenging quote. Sometimes we want that next step to be easier. But really the next step prepares you for the next step. Talking with Amy challenges me to find the joy in the journey. If you want to know more about pastor me Shaffer you can go to her Church's website, Grace life church.tv Also, you can watch her on episodes of real life on Cornerstone network. You can go to real life dot CTV and dot o RG to watch episodes of real life. Amy mentioned a few books the believers authority, as well as plans, purposes and pursuits by Kenneth e Hagen. I'll be providing links in the show notes as well. Thank you for joining me along the way. If you've enjoyed this program, please rate and subscribe to this podcast and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at along the way dot media. I hope you've enjoyed this part of the journey and make you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way