Alone?

Through all of this 2020 pandemic chaos, there’s a sensation I’ve had of standing alone, being alone, feeling alone. I’ve heard others express the same… I know I am never actually alone.

God allowing difficulties and hard times is frustrating and difficult to reason the whys. Yet I know He will use all things, even controversies, differences of opinions and social divides.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a person sharpens his friend.

It can hurt to be on different sides with loved ones (neighbors or friends) – unable to relate or agree, even if congenial. But we can listen with love and so bring glory to God.

God wastes nothing offered to Him! He is growing us, refining us, maturing us always. He is passionately into making us more like Jesus as painful as that may be.

Ezekiel 14:23 They will console you when you see their behavior and their deeds, because you will know that it was not without reason that I have done everything that I have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

The hot topics of today have only pushed me to dive deeper into God’s word for answers and reassurance, to carve out more time for prayer and to seek Him alone for the love I need toward others.

I am never alone! The great God of the Universe is with me ready to strengthen and help me. And He has a purpose!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Ephesians 2:21 In Jesus the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
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Making sense

Times are strange. My search for truth continues through all of the shifting sand we are living in. Daily I look for which scriptures apply. I don’t necessarily mean prophetically… although that’s fun to speculate.

Jude 1:18 …”At the end of time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires.” 1:19 These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.

I’m wondering more about how to live, what to say, what to do? I know God’s word holds all the keys for every era, every situation that could come… even controversy over race, protesting, masks, politics, social distancing and economic fall-out.

Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, 1:21 maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life.

Nearly finished with my yearly read through the Old Testament, I’ve launched into the 21 small letters of the New- easily read one a day. Between these books -Romans to Jude- lie treasure, practical guidelines and help.

Jude 1:22 …have mercy on those who waver; 1:23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.

I know God holds His Bride in His faithful loving sight. He will come for us when it’s time. Until then, He will lead us into becoming an ever useful building of His making, ready to be light in the darkness.

1:24 Now to the One who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before His glorious presence, 1:25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.

ForGlorySake!Anna

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
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Shifting Sand

2020… Pandemic, quarantine, school closures, reopening, vaccine trials, disputes over masks, censorship, contact tracing, riots. All words I never thought I would use or even read. And all hot topics and headlines from the news today. Amazing times, amazing year.

I prayed and fasted for 40 weeks (once a week) leading up to 2020. The word that kept coming to me was clarity. I prayed to see truth upheld and openness regarding where things stood in our world. Be careful what you pray for! I have seen more than I ever imagined. True colors in so many areas.

No, I do not think I caused any of this, but I believe as I sought God again and again, He revealed His heart to me. I am not the only one either! Many fellow believers were calling out to God to bring transparency and a “20/20 vision” and He is. Quite an awesome unfolding each day.

I call this time shifting-sand, as news, crisis, chaos, rules and absolutes change daily. Every morning I wake to discover something uncovered that was hidden. An ever unveiling, we are seeing more and more come to light.

For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. Mark 4:22

He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light. Job 12:22

My Hope as all this happens: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3

The Lord Almighty is with us; verse 7

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” verse 10

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:21-22

He never changes or casts a shifting shadow, James 1:17

stay strong!

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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The Squirming Place

The squirming place lies between prayers sent, and answers that come. It’s when I’ve called out and even surrendered my will, but there’s silence. I can feel the anxiety and suffering, yet relief is only hoped for.

Why does God always seem to allow this gap? What is gained from it? I swear I’ve been here more times than I can count, with my husband’s health. This time its ophthalmic herpes zosterwith presentation of migraine or Shingles in the eye. The rarest of all shingles’ types.

I hate the pain. I hate the wait.

It got me thinking about how instantaneous Jesus’ miracles were. Hands touched a patient or words were spoken, and boom, they were whole. Why not now? …Then, I felt God ask me, “Did the healing happen the moment they got sick?”Umm, no. There were hours and days and sometimes years prior to those scenes. Each of those people had a tale of time before that moment. What I read in the gospels and epistles is their encounter with healing. Wow

So, God has always had a plan. I know this! He knows what He’s doing. I know this too. Still, why does He allow the space for waiting? I have no idea and He is not telling. It’s up to me to trust His timing even when it doesn’t make sense. Can I tell Him I don’t like it? That I think it’s too long or it’s too much? Yes, I think I can… knowing in the end, I just will never have all the data.

I heard a quote recently that really made me think: “God gives you what you would have asked for, had you known everything that He knows.” – John Newton

I don’t know how that’s possible, because I can’t imagine asking for suffering. And yet, God uses it all throughout the scriptures. It sadly seems to be part of our lives and God does not shy away from this fact. Jesus promised we would have troubles, however take courage in the fact that He overcame the world. John 16:33. How did He do that? Through suffering.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes  his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
Isaiah 53:10
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Brazilian love

In my heart I journey south… way south. 10,000 miles, to a country with children I love. Over the years: 6 through Compassion International and countless others with Hope Unlimited.

Beautifully tan and dark headed, their eyes look at me in photos I’ve saved. I call out their names in prayer, writing letters. Hoping some day to hug them, kiss their cheeks, hear their voices.

Why Brazil?

My husband started this 31 years ago. He went there in college to study and to learn. He taught me about the people and culture. I fell in love also. We have waited a long time to visit. In the interim I read and imagine, try to learn the language.

Someday – what will it be like? Will I find more similarities than differences?

Traveling seems to make the world smaller. Unique but not actually foreign. It’s been amazing to enter other cultures and experience life. Individuals become real…with stories. They are now forever tethered to my heart.❤️

The irony of my former ballet company setting up a base there is almost too much. After the travel ban, Brazil? I pray so…

ForGlorySake!-Anna

Hope Unlimited 💜💚🧡
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That was then, this is now

Now… what a strange time. We are home, quarantined, together. Eight of us in the same house. It’s not like we haven’t lived together for so many years, but this is different. Two are home from college – apartment contents with them. Two are married, living in their own space below. Six are still in classes, on-line.

All adults. All independent. All opinionated. All hungry. Incredible people that challenge and encourage me daily. We cover the spectrum: from high energy to mostly mental productivity, a need for social outlet and a desire for peace and quiet. We are diverse!

Looking back over the years and the dynamics of our family (see: Quite a Tale) I’m intrigued to ponder this present time… What is God up to? What is He doing now? Where is this going? How will life be different afterwards?

I don’t want to miss a moment! Not a tiny thing. God don’t let any of this be wasted! Prepare us, grow us, make us useful in it. You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to seclude and set apart and offer a unique opportunity… What can it all mean?

I’m still unsure, but I’m reading and studying and seeking. And He promises (!), we won’t miss any treasure that way. So I will love and be loved and enjoy the moment, knowing God has a greater plan even in thisCovid19/quarantine 2020.

Your will be done!

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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Maybe it would be different…

Had I not lost my 1st baby and 4th baby and 7th baby to miscarriage,

Had we not been given the gift of another son who overcame his past and grew and flourished and succeeded,

Had I not stood by my husband through colon cancer, resection, sepsis, ileostomy, take-down, and double inguinal hernia repair,

Had we not struggled through months of financial loss, building a business back while drowning in oceans of medical bills,

Had we not seen a child through rebellion, addiction, humiliation, out patient and recovery,

Had we not cared for and taken in aging parents with Alzheimer’s and dementia until the Lord took them home in front of us,

Had we not witnessed a daughter who pushed us away for several years, come home by way of Lyme Disease and it’s difficult diagnosis with long recovery,

He we not watched another son deal with the stress of graduating in chemical engineering while managing a long negation process for his 1st job, only to discover thyroid cancer in the midst of a world pandemic and receive surgery the day the country shut down,

Maybe… if I had not lived through those things… my prayer would be different. But as it stands and as I’ve prayed through all these trials, “Your will be done, LORD. Use all this for our good and Your glory. It’s not for me to change Your plan, but to ask You not to let us miss anything. Don’t waste any of it, Father. In Jesus Name.

ForGlorySake! –Anna

tossed
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Tried & tested

Tried and tested, stretched and pulled

pushed to the end of me,

don’t know what’s happening, can’t see the end

wondering where this will lead.

So many thoughts, are swirling about

can’t seem to get a grip,

God of mercy, God of grace

hold me, and don’t let me slip!

Care for my family, care for our needs,

use me in all of Your ways,

open my eyes to see where You lead,

as days pass by in a haze.

Seek more of You? That much I can do,

to You I will trust with all,

protect us dear Father, come get us soon,

I work while I wait for Your call.

“He preserves our lives and does not allow our feet to slip, For You O God, tested us, You purified us like refined silver.” Psalms 66:9-10

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Strengthen yourself in God

The story of David in the Bible is so exciting. Chapter after chapter he’s in the thick of battles and conflict, fighting, running for his life, even hiding in caves.

Protect me as You would protect the pupil of Your eye. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalms 17:8

You are my hiding place; you protect me from distress. You surround me with shouts of joy from those celebrating deliverance. (Selah) Psalms 32:7

So many beautiful songs in the book of Psalms were written by him during his struggles. Again and again he turns to God is anguish and sorrow, but ends in hope and praise.

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Psalm 116:3

I will offer to You a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:17

Several of David’s songs correlate directly to the events of his life, found in the books of Samuel (1 & 2). The details of his trials bring these Psalms to life.

“For the choirmaster. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A Miktama of David, when Saul sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him. 1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise against me.” Psalm 59:1

Then Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, in order to put him to death in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be put to death.” So Michal let David down through a window, and he went out and fled and escaped. 1 Samuel 19:11-12

What a great time, during covid19, quarantine 2020 to read through the book of Psalms! Morning and night they will offer an echo to your heart for guidance and help.

He said: “I love you, Lord, my source of strength! Psalm 18:1
But David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God. 1 Samuel 30:6

ForGlorySake! -Anna

For more study see: http://www.onethingministries.net/resources/articles/the-psalms-in-the-narrative-flow-of-davids-life/

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Psalm 23 & Covid19

Everyday of quarantine I’ve woken up with Psalm 23 ringing in my ears. Today I realized the correlations clearly after reading a fearful article in the paper on governmental control…

Ultimately the LORD is my Shepherd, not the president or the Governor, or the Mayor, or any other leader. God is sovereign: He wrote my days down, orders my path, holds my future.

He leads me beside quiet waters. God is having all of us rest, stay home, be together like never before. He is restoring our souls. As we allow, He’s getting us back on the right path for His Name sake.

There’s no real fear in the dark valley, our Shepherd is beside us to walk with us and comfort and console our hearts. He will never leave us or forsake us. We are not alone.

God will provide for His people in the midst of this life-threatening situation. We don’t need to fear death, because death only brings us face to face with God. He will cover us with His oil of gladness and fill us with His Spirit, like wine.

God literally chases down “the ones” He loves with goodness and faithfulness, loyalty and devotion… every day of our lives! And we will live with our Divine Host forever: today, in communion with God because of Jesus… and after death, with Him for all eternity.

Have no fear. It’s a win- win situation!
ForGlorySake! –Anna

I shall not be afraid
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