Crossing the Finish Line!

Hebrews12:1  NKJV

 

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… 


Exodus 17:12 ESV

 

But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.


Today, I found a journal that I wrote during, and immediately after the years of fighting leukemia with our son, Stephen. Kicked the stuffing out of me, for sure. Then I read some words that really undid me.

 

 

After our son passed away, I began running every day with a new intensity. We lived in rural East Texas. I would run for miles and miles, singing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” over and over and over. It is all I sang for one solid year. Even now, almost 30 years later, I can feel the grief of those months.

 

It was during that time, I began to run fun-runs. 5ks, 10ks etc. In February of 1987, just months after losing Stevie, Jack and I, and two other friends, Fran  and Charles, ran a 6.5 run to raise money for a child that needed a liver transplant. It was a tough run for me, because of the emotions involved, but practically speaking the hills were about to kill me.  About half way through the run, Jack took off sprinting! He never ceases to amaze me with his skills. Charles, Fran and I stayed together, encouraging each other, and talking.

 

I was getting slower and slower. I wanted to quit. But my running buddies kept encouraging me, “You can do it!”  Even though they weren’t struggling, they slowed to my pace and wouldn’t let me give up.

 

Finally, the finish line was in view. We were the last runners coming in. People were cheering us on as if we were the first ones in!  At the last few feet, I stalled, and said,” I can’t do it,” through heaving gasps.  Fran and Charles took hold of both my hands, and threw me across the finish line in front of them!

 

It was those last words, them throwing me across the line, at the end of my race that undid me today.

 

This race we are running can be unbearable at times.  We were not meant to run it alone.  God put us in to community for a reason.  We need each other.  As we run let us keep our eyes on Jesus, and our hands on our brothers and sisters.  We will reach the goal together! The first shall be last and the last shall be first, and the joy of the finish line will be awesome for all!!

 

Thank you to Charles and Fran, and to many others who have grabbed me by the hand and not let me quit.  May God grant me the courage and fortitude and love to do the same for all those He places on my journey.

 

Courage to all! Anna Marie

 

How Can We Love Others the Way Jesus Loved Us?

http://drm7.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-can-we-love-others-jesus-loved-us.html

Is the Fruit of Our Lips Singing Praise?

Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to
God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

The birds are cooing loudly outside this morning.  Even though it seems a mournful tune, I always hear a song of praise calling out to Abba God. This morning, as I sat quietly listening to the dove choir, and thinking about prayer, a memory popped into my head:

It was a Saturday morning. I was 16 years old and vacuuming our living room for my mom.  Crash!  I spun around to see what had happened, and was dismayed to see one of my mother’s most treasured porcelain figurines lying shattered on the floor.  The delicate little ballerina was destroyed.  The tiny pink and white treasure had been given to my mom as a young girl by someone she loved dearly.

I began to cry and my mom flew into the room to see what was happening.  She looked at the sight and her face showed a moment of pain, but she reached out to me and hugged me, and said,

“Anna Marie, it is only a thing.  You are more important to me than any thing.  Don’t cry.”

I pondered why that memory would surface in my time with the Lord.  I felt like He was reminding me of His love towards us, even when we mess things up.  Even when our messes lead to destruction of precious things, He never stops loving us, never stops cherishing us, and wipes away our tears.

As I remember all the messes I have made in my life,  what I really feel is the overwhelming love of my Heavenly Father as He has held me and comforted me and forgiven me.  It is a feeling like my heart must explode because it cannot contain all the gratitude and wonder from His heart to mine.

The birds are still cooing loudly outside…sounds like their hearts must explode, as well….

Healing Moments by Rita Corke 2012

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Do You Want More?

I Can only Imagine!

1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV:

 But as it is written:  

Eye has no seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

I have been meditating on this verse for the last few days.  Here are some of the thoughts I have had, breaking it down, phrase by phrase:

 

  1. Eye has not seen – No matter how much revelation I have been given, no matter how many healings and miracles I have seen, no matter how many God incidents I see – There is always more!  “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
  2. Nor ear heard – It doesn’t matter how many times or ways He says He loves me – There is more!  There is no end to our conversation.  His secrets that He wants to reveal to me are infinite!
  3. Nor entered into the heart of man – What grows in my heart?  Love, desire, purpose, mercy, kindness, goodness, faith, faithfulness, longing, joy, and yet, as wondrous as these are – There is more!  In my intimacy with God, it is like a Divine Rapture that sends me into  a realm of oneness, calm , total effortless peace; a place of total union with God…sublime!
  4. The things which God has prepared for those who love Him – I can only imagine…Selah. (Pause and think about that) As I survey my life, I realize I could never have believed the mysteries I have experienced.  I could never have imagined that He would turn my tragedies into Triumphs.  But I can say, unequivocally, I love Him more today, than yesterday; and as my love grows, I know the revelation He gives will grow as well – There is more!

Be blessed today!  God has more in store for you!!

Anna Marie

 

 

Is Anybody Out There Listening?

Proverbs 18:2
A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.
Years ago, one of the desires of my heart was to learn to be a really good listener. It is not an easy task. We in our humanness have a desire to be known, to share our heart, our thoughts and opinions about the particular topic at hand.

Have you ever been with people in a conversation and not been able to get a word in edgewise? How does it make you feel?

It makes me feel invisible, discounted, unloved.

I wanted to become a good listener because of those bad feelings I experienced by not being listened to myself. But today, as I was reading this proverb, the word fool jumped out at me. I hear the heart of my Father telling me that unless I truly delight to understand my brother or sister’s heart in my listening, I am a fool.

To be a fool is a terrible thing. To be a fool does not just mean your are doltish or stupid or idiotic, but it is used of one who mocks God.

Wow. I have really been given a depth of desire to be an even better listener. Abba Daddy is showing me that when we do not listen to another, to have an understanding of them, of their heart, of their desires, we are actually mocking our maker. When we discount our brother, we are discounting the One who made them.

Today, I want to listen more than I speak. Who is with me?

Blessings, Anna Marie

Living under the anointing by Jack Sheffield

Living Under the Anointing from William Michael on Vimeo.

Wisdom for Healing by Anna Marie

 

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.                ~ Proverbs 15:18 (NKJV)

The book of Proverbs, in the Bible. is full of practical wisdom for healing.  Modern medicine continues to confirm the truths that are written inside.

Sometimes when I read Proverbs, the Lord illuminates the spiritual truth; other times he reveals the physical reality.

 

Jesus is the Light of the world.  When we fix our eyes on him, he fills our hearts with joy.  I honestly cannot think of a single instance, when I finally changed my focus from my problem, my sorrow, my anger or pain to look at Jesus-to look into his Word, that I was not transformed into joy-filled believer in God!

 

In the same way, God created us to live in the light.  We need sunshine!  We need beauty!  When we spend time outdoors soaking up sunshine, making vitamin D, depression leaves.  Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic.  Sunscreen inhibits the body’s ability to make this vital element. Our skin needs to absorb the suns rays! And our eyes need to be exposed to the natural light. UV protection sunglasses, worn all the time, reduce the amount of light we take in through our eyes. When the full spectrum of light hits our eyes, the optic nerve is stimulated, and has a positive effect on our endocrine system.  (Do some research on this. It’s fascinating!) Sunlight makes us happy!

 

 

Healthy bones, spiritually speaking, are needed for our walk with the Lord.  Without a strong framework, the deep inner Truth, our journey in the Spirit is handicapped.  As members of the body of Christ,  every bone and joint must supply for the organism to move and grow.  We get strong spiritual bones by believing a good report:  The Good News of Jesus Christ!  Every word that is written in the Bible can bring strength to our inner man.

 

In the natural, our bones are critical for our immune system to work.  The awesome news here is that when you believe a good report it literally strengthens the marrow of your bones, bringing health to your entire body!  Laughter and joy create the environment for healing.

 

I remember a time when my husband was feeling really sick, like he was coming down with the flu. We had a date with friends to go see a play called Nunsense. (I highly recommend it!) Jack practically had to drag himself into the theater. While we were waiting for the show to begin, he kept saying that he thought he better go lay down in the car.  He was just getting ready to leave when the show started.

 

This production was hilarious from the get go!  In about ten minutes, Jack was laughing so hard he was crying. He looked at me and said, “I don’t feel sick any more!” His fever was gone and all the nausea had disappeared!

 

When you need healing, just remember this wonderful proverb.  Apply it like the medicine it is, and watch God work!

 

Blessings!

What Would I Do in a Year if My Goal Was To Become Wise?

What Would I Do in a Year if My Goal Was To Become Wise?  This was last week’s blog challenge.

It is an idea worth contemplating.  The Bible says that if any of us desire wisdom, to ask God. He loves to impart wisdom.  Seems like such an easy thing.  I wonder why we don’t do it more?

I have determined to start with Him. I am going to be ruthless in pursuing Him for wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 9:10
He is the Light to my path and the lamp for my feet! Psalm 119:105

One of the greatest reservoirs of wisdom to be found, in the entire world, is the book of Proverbs.  In 1973, when I became a follower of Jesus Christ, the woman who mentored me, Wanda Plummer, told me that she read one chapter of Proverbs every day of her life. It was really nice of God to put 31 chapters in it – one for each day of the month!  I decided to emulate her.  For the most part, I have read a chapter a day for all these years. I figure I have read through it way over 400 times! It has given me deep insights into the ways of mankind, as well as the mind of God.

Therefore, one of my actions this year, will be to continue this practice, with a twist.  As our friend Dudley Perio likes to say, “You only get to keep what you give away.”   So this year, I am going to blog more about those insights.  I have journaled my thoughts in the past, but blogging is a great way to encourage others. I am excited to see how the wisdom will return to me, as I give it away.

Another source of wisdom is the elders in our lives.  I have been missing Jack’s mom.  She was a wonderful teacher. She always had a nugget to share with our family.  I have a few friends in my life who I look to as elders.  This year, I want to be intentional about seeking them out, and drawing from them the great deposit that comes from living a full lifetime.

I have gained much wisdom from living life.  Experience truly is a wonderful teacher.  So, I am going to try to have some new experiences.  Most of us have a “bucket list,” written or not.  This year, let’s cross a few of those desires off our lists, what do you say?

History is another, often overlooked, source of wisdom.  Learning from the successes and failures of those who have gone before us is a no-brainer.  I must confess, I do not study history like I used to.  That is going to change. I think I would like to start with reading some biographies of famous women.  Women who changed the world, for good or bad.  Anyone have any suggestions for a good book?

These are five good steps for me. I may add more as I go through the year.  Join me, won’t you?

Blessings, Anna Marie
Click here for a wonderful song of worship. It is a song that is a wonderful reflection on True Wisdom.