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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Another Opportunity

When I traveled with ballet Magnificat over 33 years ago 😵 we had this saying, “Just another opportunity for the Lord to be glorified.” Meaning, we need a miracle. I heard this often as our small troop of dancers faced high demands on a minuscule budget. During some 200 performances my first year; vans broke down continually, donations were often not enough to cover necessities- much less emergencies and the schedule was physically demanding weekly. We survived on the grace of God and a lot of faith!

Those were precious days. They taught me to wait and trust God for our next meal …next home-stay …and the strength to keep dancing across the country. God knew we needed fuel for both bodies and vehicles. He knew we needed nightly rest to keep going… and tires to get us to the each location. I remember once pulling off the road in the dark rain to pray for the broken windshield wipers on our bus! Like every other time, God provided. He sent a mechanic to that very spot who had worked on our type of old bus. He fixed the mechanism and replaced the wipers with new ones in his truck!

I kid you not.

We asked and He answered, time after time, miraculously. I don’t think I have ever experienced such daily God-ordained occurrences as during those years. It grew my faith in a deep deep way. I learned: God can and He will, because He already did yesterday. Our director reminded us often that God had called her to begin this ministry, had opened 100s of doors, so… off course He would provide what we needed.

All these things became precious building blocks preparing me for marriage and raising children. I hung onto those memories and the knowledge of all God had done. Through journaling I began to see that when He’s your ONLY hope of rescue, it will be miraculous. Delayed flights, lost keys, flat tires, illnesses mild or deadly, God is there to see us through and answer our needs in miraculous ways.

My life, my family, my day today offer ” Just another opportunity for the Lord to be glorified,” bringing Glory to His Most Glorious Name. Again, and again, and again. That’s something I can commit to do for next generation. Be an example of faith.

ForGlorySake! – Anna

Grandbabies xox
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No Leftovers

With our house full of people, especially last weekend for our daughter’s wedding shower, there’s always bits of food, drinks and snacks left over. Little half bags of chips/pretzels, plastic containers of this and that. Eventually these become a meal of sorts when we put them all out. A kind of funny eclectic buffet. I’m not a waster – someone’s going to eat that last 1/4 of homemade enchilada, even if it’s the dog.

Altering the bridesmaid dresses and wedding dress this last week, I realized I follow the same guide when sewing… saving scraps incase I need them later on, not wasting beads or trim. It was a reminder of how God doesn’t waste anything. Each venture, disaster and success. He guides our path and redirects our way when we get foolish or careless. He teaches us through experiences, using every opportunity – every scrap – every leftover.

All the years of herding toddlers, disciplining, homeschooling, going to church, sports practice, games…. words, prayers, tears… God has used it. He is the ultimate Recycler, Repurpose-er, Reconstruction-er. Our mess-ups and tear-downs don’t seem to deter His goal of sanctification. I’ve seen this at work in me and my husband and all the children. God uses everything for our good and His Glory.

Endless pleading for His will to be done in our lives and for us to be useful- I know He was listening. It’s rarely looked like what I thought it should, but then His vision is so much better than mine. I trust Him that the millions of muddles are only ingredients. I believe in His faithfulness. I believe in His determination to finish what He started. And I daily choose to wait on His final say.

Such grace

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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God of the ocean

Yes, I know the LORD is great, and our God is superior to all gods.  He does whatever He pleases – in heaven, on earth, in the seas and all the ocean depths. Psalms 135:5-6 

A trip to the ocean is so soothing, calming, peaceful. Its very sound brings healing to my soul. Palm trees coming into view are exciting. Our family loves to roll the windows down when we’re finally close enough to smell the salt air.

Standing in the sand, listening to the waves crash I sense God’s presence. The sky is gigantic and wide open – it makes me feel small. He speaks to me here- I feel closer. 

But there’s another side to the endless watery horizon. Rain, wind, dark clouds and huge surf send most of us running for cover. A lightening storm can be pretty terrifying.

From every angle, I find word pictures of the Almighty’s power and might. He is God and I am not. Yet just like each grain of sand… and star in the sky, He sees me and knows me. He’s promised I am loved. The very idea is unfathomable.

Comforting and rejuvenating right along side an untamable, unstoppable force – the sea itself helps explain this Ruler of heaven, Creator of earth, Inventor of water. He is God snd there is no other!

ForGlorySake! -Anna 

Be amazed

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Investing 101

Out on an island, far from home, David and I love to sneak away together and spend time in June on just us. We have brought the kids in previous years… but never for the whole trip. This is our time to reconnect. Alone

We would rather forgo anything else: anniversary, Christmas and birthday gifts just to get away. I remember again how funny he is and the way he looks at me that makes me melt. He remembers I can be wooed! We serious-date. Priceless.

This was only a dream 32 years ago. As students, headed into law school living on loans and a ballet teacher’s salary… our hopes of adventure seemed impossible. With 5 consecutive pregnancies, we were just thankful to visit the beach with family.

Then after years, God opened doors. Every time we asked, He answered. Always more than I expected – far beyond my worth. Yet He says, “I called you, I chose you, I died for you – Thank Me for a little and I will show you more.”

…Dairy Queen, a tent, a borrowed cabin- it doesn’t matter. We’ve done it all with joy! Time is irreplaceable. Like a wise pastor recently said, “it can only be invested.” And the dividends? They’re immeasurable. As God promises, they are eternal. 

ForGlorySake!Anna

us
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Understanding Lot

Abraham, father of the Jews started off in an ungodly city called Ur. God spoke to him telling him to leave for a new land of promise. Abraham obeyed, taking his nephew Lot. They grew very wealthy together, finally separating because of their many flocks and herds of cattle (Genesis 13).

Abraham let Lot choose his location first… “Lot settled in the cities of the vicinity of the Jordan, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked sinners against the LORD.” Genesis 13:12-13

Peter writes that Lot was undone by the actions around him. This makes me wonder why He chose to stay in that horrible city? Why didn’t he just leave? Eventually things became so bad that God destroyed the whole place!

“But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. 2 Peter 2:7-8 NLT

When I hear about wicked behavior in our world, my heart grieves too. Yet where else can I go? I think Lot had the same problem – sin was everywhere. Jesus knew this world would be a challenge for His followers, so He prayed for us:

(Father),” I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They don’t belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your Word, which is truth. Just as You sent Me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give Myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by Your truth.” John 17:15-19 NLT

I don’t have to leave earth, Jesus stated He sent me in… I only need remember I don’t actually belong to the system here. This is not my home. He made me holy by His sacrifice and God’s truth – which His scripture. I can stay anywhere on earth protected and safe, as a light to the path of reconciliation.

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for ALL who will EVER believe in Me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory (!) You gave Me, so they may be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me. Father, I want these whom You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they can see ALL the glory You gave Me because You loved Me even before the world began!” John 17:20-24

Incredible what He offers.

ForGlorySake! – Anna

Not Of This World (NOTW)

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The pool man

How does God do it?! Deal with the dichotomy of life: joy, horror – order, chaos – peace, hopelessness. Side- by-side? It’s everywhere all at once. Mercy. How does He see and manage with each human at the same time?

Today, relaxing and reading my Bible, looking at an incredible view – I spoke with a man clearly in pain. He saw no beauty, even told me there was too much corruption and change happening to see anything else. Then admitted to back pain from a fall last Friday.

I listened and asked God silently if I could pray over him. While he was bending down working, I came closer and asked if he believed in God. He said yes and I told him I was going to pray for him. Immediately I touched his shoulder and said out loud, “Jesus I ask you to heal this back and lighten his load and open his eyes to Your beauty around, in Jesus’ name.”

He stood saying he was Catholic, but had not been to church since his mother died when he was 9. “He took her.” The wound was deep and old. So I just listened. Then I told him, “God sees you, He hears you, He loves you.” His eyes watered and he said, “No more, no more.” Swishing his hand, he bid me, “Good week,” and quickly left.

Hopelessness can be found anywhere, even on a beautiful island in the Caribbean. Today, I clearly saw that Jesus is the ONLY answer for true and lasting peace! Inner contentment and tranquility is found in my Hope of who God is and what He has offered me: God’s son, my Savior.

Bearer of all sin, Reconciler to Father-God, Deliverer from all evil, Healer and Lover of our souls – Come Lord Jesus, heal us!

ForGlorySake!-Anna

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Travel

Travel always offers me perspective and challenge …to see the world bigger than my daily community. Cultures, languages and just sheer numbers of humanity- there is more!

In the midst, I find some chaos as I’m stretched and forced to include, accept, and allow. Include others into my space, accept their differences, and allow them Grace in their point of life.

Life is a journey no matter how you slice it. How do I cope being surrounded with so many differences? Breathe, listen, look, hope.

Breathe – literally take a deep breathe, even if masked up in an airport and know, truly know God sees, hears and knows where I am. He is near.

Listen – perk up for His voice and His cues. Wait on the LORD. He will guide me as needed.

Look – sees who’s around, pray for them, smile, offer help if needed, offer gratitude.

Hope – (by far my favorite) when all seems hopeless, believe God is working behind the scenes for my good! “The hope of the righteous is gladness” Proverbs 10:28

Do I deserve His grace? No! Do others deserve mine? Yes, because I should give to others as it’s been given to me –undeservingly. The world needs unconditional love and forgiveness found only in Jesus… and we are His Ambassadors to the world. ❤️

ForGlorySake!- Anna

Unassuming ambassadors

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Growing Family…

Two of our boys are married, another daughter will wed this summer. 1 granddaughter almost 2 and a grandson due any day now. Such blessings! Our family is growing with each passing year. Not something even a pandemic could stop. I think of all that David and I have invested into this crowd and it reminds me of God’s promise:

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38

Whatever you do with a heart and mind toward God will be blessed: study, befriend, parent, serve, share, speak… love. He multiplies the seeds sown for His glory. Cleaning clothes, toilets, floors, little bottoms and noses, driving miles, cooking meals -He sees it all. He promises a blessing in return when we care for the least of these, especially for our own families (1 Timothy 5:8).

God says that persistence will pay off in treasure without measure. More love to give and receive when we ask Him for it. More patience to endure. More strength to continue. Memories and photos, help me look back for a glimpse into the 1000s of hours that led me to now. Fun, busy, difficult, sad, even boring moments made us all grow.

Now as we add on to our family again, I could’t be more grateful for this kind of abundance. New people grafted in, bringing their wisdom and experiences with them. It’s just blessing on blessing. God’s not finished with us, our maturity or opportunities. I’m making room in my lap!

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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Truly Life

There’s life in Jesus: “I’ve got my salvation, my sins are forgiven, I’m headed to heaven, done.” And then there’s Abundant Life: joyous, overflowing, all of me for all of Him. “A hunger and thirst” (my mom called it), with the desire to find out what’s pleasing to God, Ephesians 5:10. There’s a difference.

I decided in my late teens I wanted that. Not just a resting-salvation, but a reaching for more and more of Him. The full and complete lacking nothing kind of maturity James talks about. I wanted to live for the One who gave His Life for me… or die trying.

Peter told the early church: “For you have been called for this purpose, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps, HE WHO COMMITTED NO sin, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT found IN HIS MOUTH; and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously…” 1 Peter 2:21-23 nasb.

Paul told Timothy, to”take hold of that which is truly Life” I Tim. 6:19. But what is truly-life? It’s a great question to ask whether books, movies, podcasts, or events. I aim to choose wisely… sometimes I miss. Jesus offered eternal life by faith, yet repeatedly said living like Him would make it “perissos” Greek for superfluous. Never the easy way, always the most rewarding.

Living superabundantly starts with getting my heart and mind in sync with God. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” Psalm 19:14. This is a daily prayer along with putting on His armor to fight the good fight, Ephesians 6:13. And lastly, asking for help to take advantage of the very best He has for me, so I can live what’s Truly Life.

ForGlorySake! – Anna

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Smooth sailing


Standing at the railing looking over the harbor, I tried to imagine all the miles the boats had traveled. How many years had they been on the water. Where were they headed next? Would they withstand the next storm at sea? Shopping for groceries, later, I thought similar things about the sea of people. What was each story? What had God specifically made them for? Did they know their Creator and that He loved them so?

I’ve read testimonies of people who came to know Jesus late in life. They said they’d just been too busy to think about what really mattered. It wasn’t until something dramatic happened that they stopped to consider, “What happens after death?”

Isn’t that how life-altering events happen- unexpectedly? You feel tossed around, when suddenly the ground falls away. Crisis: financial, health, relationship, emotional free-fall. I’ve been there, and Jesus caught me. I knew He would, because He promises to hold tight to those who hold tight to Him.

But what about someone who doesn’t know Him? How do they cope? Where do they find footing? Who rescues them and brings peace by promising a future and a Hope? How I wanted to share His love with everyone – in the store. Instead, I prayed and left their souls in God’s faithful hands, hoping so much they would grab hold of The Truth before anything dramatic happened.  

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because its foundation had been laid on Solid Rock. Matthew 7:24-25

We all need Someone to hold us and guide us safely through the storms. Only Jesus can do that. It’s never too late to call His name. He’s ready for you today!

ForGlorySake!– Anna

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