Solid Evidence

My blogs are like a huge pile of rocks – a reminder of the things God has done. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to actually build a large mound in our front yard! But David wasn’t so sure.

21 “When your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’…22 “then you shall inform them”… 24 “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” Joshua 4:21-24

Instead, I journal and blog and reread the accounts again and again and marvel and cry (happy tears). These scribblings/typings are solid evidence when I feel lost or alone or unheard or hopeless. It’s embarrassing to think I come to that point, but I do …often. And here I stop, seeing to my shock- that I have felt all this before, and God was so very, very faithful each time.

Mercy!

I’m glad I’ve written about my worry and desperation along the way. These are my truthful words, followed by God’s comforting hope. Sometimes the process was long and agonizing, sometimes quick and merciful, but always His love and care came through somehow.

He hears, He knows, He has a plan – has become my motto. And probably what I’d write on my big messy pile of rocks. Instead I’ll leave behind journals, blogs and stories my children have often heard 10s of times… heck, they lived through them. Hopefully they will pass them on to the next generation and possibly encourage some outside our family as well.

Grateful and thankful today,

ForGlorySake!Anna



 “For the LORD is good. His loyal love endures, and He is faithful through all generations.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100:5‬ ‭

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Intruders

I strive for peace in our home. To me it’s worth a lot. Sometimes it requires overlooking offenses completely. Sometimes it means waiting for a better time and place to discuss an issue. Mostly it involves holding my tongue and letting God defuse me.

When peace is disrupted by trivial trials or huge dilemmas, God says, “to count it ALL joy.” How?? …The end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 has been one trial after another. Not so peaceful. And not just for our family, but so many others. Being in the hospital for my husband’s life-threatening illness only gave us focus- highlighting what’s truly important.

“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance” James 1:2 (The J.B. Phillips paraphrase)  

I have a hard time considering intruders as friends – unless I remember they push me close to Jesus. I have difficulty seeing joy in the crisis -until God reveals some un-asked-for grace in the midst of suffering. I don’t naturally track my spiritual growth in tough times -but looking back I see stronger faith.

Such a strange concept… joy in the pit. I know God is with me. I understand He sustains me. I can even swallow that there’s a bigger picture, grander plan, greater point than what I see. But joy? All I know is to ask Jesus for it and then wait to see what He will bring. He usually surprises me with something amazing, reassuring He is in control.

Oh for a break right now! If not, there IS peace to be had in Jesus, in the midst, and with joy. I only have to ask and wait. He will answer.

ForGlorySake! – Anna

Not easy, but thankful
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Greatest Fear

My greatest fear has changed with age. As a child, it was spiders or my mom dying. As a teen it turned to a fear of being disabled- unable to dance. When I married it became my husband’s death, my children not loving Jesus, failing at homeschooling… 

Each fear, God confronted straight on, challenging me with the same question, “Will you trust Me?” No matter what I feared, the question was the same. And time after time I had to chose to trust

Now I have little fear, because I know after so many confrontations… “Yes, I will trust You, because You are trustworthy.” God loves me with an everlasting love, He will always stay close and He always, always has a plan for our good. 

I think the amplified Bible states it best:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 

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For to this you were called

The joke at our house is, “David is very healthy until he’s almost dying.” My sweet, patient husband has suffered innumerable medical crises since birth. In 30 years of marriage he’s nearly died 4 times.

I have asked God more than once, why him? And yet I read in 1 Peter 2:21, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His footsteps,”

Are we called to suffer?

This letter of Peter’s was to “the Chosen” encouraging all who “endured sorrow while suffering unjustly.” I feel certain Peter referred to religious persecution, however repeat physical suffering IS repeat physical suffering.

Jesus becomes our example in these situations: “not speaking abusively, and *not threatened, (via Hebrew translation). Jesus instead, entrusted Himself to the ONE who judges justly.

Religious persecution or just any old trial, we are encouraged to trust God the One and only Just Judge, who holds us closely in the palm of His hand. We never need to feel threatened, or alone, or forgotten. We are His precious ones and He will help us to endure.

“For to this you were called.”

ForGlorySake! –Anna

He sees, He knows, He cares
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Beauty and the Beast

“Theres a big black dog in my kitchen!” I said on more than one occasion after we moved to this house. I was alarmed at first, but soon made friends with our neighbor’s black German Shepherd that squeezed through the dog door. She’d quietly just appear and I’d text them at work, then take her home to her cage.

After a couple of years and a lot of growth, they called one day asking if we’d like to keep her. Their schedules had become such that they were rarely home and she was confined more and more. I had begun walking her and throwing the ball regularly in our back field, but keep her?!

I felt a little overwhelmed… my husband, however immediately stated, “Ask Rebekah.” He had to be kidding!! That’s like asking The Cookie Monster if they want a cookie factory. So, the Beast (Koda) moved in and the Beauty was thrilled… as was everyone else (-besides the cats)!

We’ve had her now for a year, and she is a precious spoiled creature. Early mornings she’s got me out throwing the ball in all kinds of weather, evenings are Rebekah’s to exercise her. Koda has taught us flexibility and discipline. She has even become a companion to our bird-dog in his golden years. She still does not like our cats, but they’ve found some peace separated by floors.

Interesting how God uses His animals in our lives… to soften us, make us more tolerant, even regulate our getting up and going to bed. I’ve had some of the most wonderful prayer times under sunrise skies. She made that possible!

Thank You Father for sending sweet Koda… hair and all!

ForGlorySake! – Anna

The shedding-est dog
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Strange Treasure

November 2020, nearly the end of the weirdest year I’ve lived through so far. There have been more tragic ones… more personally daunting ones… more anxiety-filled for sure. But this last 9 months has been epic in that the world has stressed out with me.

Collectively, every country, every state has managed daily unknowns and tragic chaos together. Even now, it seems as if 7 billion humans await a screwy election outcome in our (so called) United States. Most days I just pray for peace.

College for our freshman this fall was anything but normal. Not what she had anticipated, yet still doable. She made the best of inconveniences, discovering alone the way an amazing truth- adversity breeds friendship.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

True friends surface when troubles arise. A bond can form fast and deep. Being away from home may bring this about… or dealing with the rules and regulations surrounding a surprise pandemic. Oh, the blessings of seeking camaraderie, being thankful and choosing joy! If we will only trust God and do the next thing, He promises to be a Lamp for our feet and Light to our path. Psalm 119:105

He knows we are in need of a Good Shepherd to lead the way through, and so He becomes our Hope. Even during the strange and unknown, treasure can be found if we are willing to seek it out. You never know, this could be one of the best years yet.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Beware

Over 350 times in the New Testament we are told in various forms to: beware, be aware, stay alert, stay awake, be alert! The warnings are for everything from the devil himself, to evil workers, lawless people, false teachers, false prophets and somebody offering a bribe.

The greatest concern – losing a grip on truth. This year with all the added chaos, there’s been so much confusion and conflicting information. Every day I get updates on: illnesses, deaths, natural disasters, and mayhem of every kind. A crazy year, topped off by an election… that’s only getting crazier.

Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled, lawless men and fall from your firm grasp on the truth.” 2 Peter 3:17

So who has the truth?

Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your Word, which is truth.“- Jesus. John 17:17

Since God’s Word is truth… I have to have a firm grasp on it! That means – read, read and read some more. I use several versions and a few commentaries. I also love biblehub.com for any confusing passages. They offer an Apostolic Bible Polyglot (word for word translation from original Greek to modern English). Super helpful.

Studying the truth helps me spot the lies, maybe not in statistics and reported numbers… but definitely “errors from unprincipled, lawless men.” Putting scripture in my heart guards me against being led astray, I won’t lose my grip on the truth that really matters!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Life

Years fly by, wrinkles deepen, hair lightens, details grow fuzzy – family members pass and new ones are added

Addresses accumulate, along with photos and possessions, but it’s these faces I treasure and the stories they tell

Smiles, laughter, talking, listening, remembering – maybe hearing for the first time something that finally brings understanding; a new perspective

Life shared in a family, relative to relative – one generation to the next, how beautiful to watch it grow and mature. Each building on the experiences of those who are older

May God give us grace to learn from the ones gone before, never forgetting their lessons but wisdom not to repeat their mistakes

ForGlorySake!Anna

family 2020
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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 comes… even controversies 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 Testament. 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  The Church 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.

In this I find peace.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

1 Thess. 4:17

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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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