Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friendship

Have you ever thought about your friendships over your lifetime?  Tonight I was clearing out my notes that I don’t need anymore and I came across one dated March, 2009.  I don’t remember reading it again since I put it in my notes.  But, there must have been a reason I kept it.   As I read it again, I understood why.  There are lessons to be learned. 

It made me realize that all of my friends had been in my life for a reason and that some had been there only for a season, and I remembered them all, and some have remained lifetime friends, and I am so thankful for each of them.  I have made some awesome friends in the last few years, and I pray they will be my friends for the rest of my life.  But, I’m leaving that to God, and am praying that if any of them are just in my life for a season, that I will be able to accept that God put them there for a reason, that they did what they were called to do and they were there for only a season, and if that is so, I will be sad but I will cherish them always because I will have learned something valuable from them. 

In my note, the writer asked: "Are you a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.


LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
-Unknown

But this I know, as much as I love my friends, I know I have one who will be my lifetime friend and will never leave nor forsake me...His name is God, Yahweh, Lord of lords, King of kings, and the "I AM."  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Joy Club Trip - Blessed Beyond Expectations






This past Saturday, I went with our Joy Club to Charlotte NC to tour the Billy Graham Museum.  What a humbling experience to be able to see the life of a man, whose ministry began in 1945, and still continues today. As you walk through the museum you see the life of a man who for most of his life has focused on his desire that every single soul be reached to receive the salvation our Lord promises us if we believe.  I recommend it to everyone who has not been there.  I promise you will be blessed by the experience.


Then we went to the NarroWay where we saw an awesome production of the “Lord of Light”.  Believers were given the opportunity to partake of the Lord’s Supper toward the end of Act I. 

Here is a brief description of the production: “Lord of Light” is symbolic depiction of the battle between good and evil and the victory won by Jesus during the three days following his death. During that time, Ephesians 4:9 and 1 Peter 3:19 indicate that Jesus descended into Hell and won the victory over hell and death.  “Lord of Light” makes a conscious effort to expose the nature of the enemy - Satan - in hopes that the body of Christ may be better prepared to put on the Armor of God and stand Firm.”

The second act gave Satan’s plan, Testimonies from Hell, Put on the Full Armor of God, The Battle between Good and Evil, Victory Over the Grave and The University.

I can tell you that “Testimonies from Hell” was an eye opener, not only for non-believers but for believers too.

Below is a link which has a promo video of the “Lord of Light”.  You must see the production in its entirety to get the full impact of the message it gives.   
  

I feel blessed to have gone on this trip with the Joy Club.  Thanks to LaRee New and Rodney Hicks for planning such a wonderful trip for the Joy Club. Also, a special thank you to our driver, Bernard, who was also a blessing to us.  


Jesus went through an unfair trial in our place so that we would not have to face a fair trial and receive the well-deserved punishment for our sins.
  
Life Application Study Bible

Mark 14 – 22-25  (NIV)
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From Devesation to Fresh Reverance



Last night when the election was called for our incumbent president, I felt physically ill. I was angry. Fear ran over me like ice water. This morning I awoke still feeling devastated. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, “Really God?” The answer kept coming back, “Really, Ann.” And I began to cry.  As the tears came, I remembered some of the lyrics to a song that I love…”Lead me to the rock that is higher than I… thou hast been a shelter for me.”

 Then I was reminded of the study of David we just finished yesterday. In Beth Moore’s sessions, she taught “We have to move past our devastation to whole hearted obedience,  and to have the courage to see the fulfillment of God’s promises to us and that God has good things for you—not painless things for you, good things for you.”  “…Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”  2 Samuel 7:18. 

Kay Arthur taught that even before the foundation of the earth, God knew everything that was going to happen. He knew that we would sin, and even before the foundation of the earth, he had a plan to save us through his Son, Jesus Christ. "Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11

I don’t pretend to understand all of God’s plans but with the reminders that He gave me this morning, I can still praise him and know how great is our God!  My spirit is renewed with a fresh reverence that God really does have the whole world in his hands and that he will never forsake me nor leave me.

Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes.

Ann
 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wrinkles, Wings, Genes, and Stock

Sometime ago, I saw a new way to make one look 10 years younger. You braid three strands of hair tightly on each side of your head, Then you pull half of your hair in the back onto the top of your head. Then you take a piece of the elastic with a small comb on each end of it. You take one end of the elastic and place the comb tightly into the braided hair.Then you bring the other comb around to the other side and place the comb into the other braid. Once you do that WALLA! You look ten year younger.  Really? Frankly seeing the women who had tried it, I didn’t see any difference; some even had a pained expression on their face.

The genius woman who came up with this hair brain idea did so because her son was getting married and plastic surgery for her was too expensive. Can you believe that?  Has she not seen her friends in 10 years and wanted to impress them? But I digress.

Seeing that breakthrough for regaining youth, I had to laugh.  I looked in the mirror and I laughed harder. I looked at all my wrinkles and gave them all names. The crows feet around my eyes are called smiles, big grins and hearty laughs.  The lines in my face are a bit more serious. I call them lines of wisdom after experiences of heartbreak, loss, and just plain getting old, but I learned something with every experience.  My face portrays the real me not a plastic person. All the wrinkles portray different stages of my life that make me feel real. 

I’m 71, not 41 or even 51.  I see and feel changes in my once young body every day.  For instance, have you ever noticed a lot of us women up in years rarely wear sleeveless blouses or dresses?  Those three-quarter sleeved blouses and dresses have a specific purpose…they cover our newly acquired wings in the upper part of our arms. But, I must tell you they carry a concealed weapon too.  Should we be held-up at gunpoint and told to raise our hands high, all we have to do is to quickly wave, and that person is likely to be slapped silly. So, when you see an older woman raise her arm to wave at someone, you better duck if you are near her. 

Speaking for myself only, I no longer wear 3 inch heels. I fall enough wearing flats. I still like to see younger women wear them if they like. I wore them for many years and loved wearing them. I rarely wear dresses anymore either. I can’t seem to find one that doesn’t show every bulge that has attached itself to my body for a lot of years now.  I don’t wear a size 6 anymore, it’s more like a size ---never mind, but my dress size is in the double digits, but  not a 10 and that’s as much as I will tell you.   I stopped wearing dresses when I once asked my husband, “Honey, does this dress make me look fat?”  All I will tell you is that I didn’t like his answer, Bless his honest heart.

I don’t wish insult anyone. I see women my age every day who are thin, have few to no wrinkles and they are beautiful and are blessed with good genes. But, I see women like me every day too, and they are beautiful too, each in their own way. We are blessed because we come from good stock. Now for me, you may have to look for my beauty. Hopefully you will see it coming from the inside, because you *ain’t* gonna to see it on the outside.

The real beauty is that I’m a Daughter of the King and He loves me.  He understands the pain that I have had, the joys that I have, and He has given me a sense of humor that doesn’t allow me to take myself too seriously.

Ann

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Where Do I go...


 
Life is just hard sometimes, isn’t it? Life throws us curve balls when we least expect them and we wonder how we going to get through the valley’s, at least I do at times.

I get things on my mind and I obsess over them.  I lie awake at night; sleep just doesn’t come some times until the early morning hours and at other times not at all. The next day I am grumpy, lethargic, in other words, just plain lazy. But, wait, I have a reason. I have something that is bothering me. I just can’t get it off of my mind. There isn’t anything that I can do about the situation, but still it worries me.  What’s wrong with this picture?

In my renewed walk with our Father in Heaven, I pray daily, sometimes all day long as I carry out the chores that can’t be ignored. Sometimes my prayers are silent, and sometimes, I find myself talking out loud to the Lord as I am washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, folding clothes, etc.  Those prayers are general prayers thanking Him for the day, for my family and for loving everyone and most of all for my salvation.  But then, there are times when these just don’t seem sufficient if I am really burdened by a problem.

Situations beyond my control have arisen over the past month that has caused me to worry, even to the point of feeling somewhat depressed. I have lost sleep due to this worry.  Earlier last week, it became such a worry, I could think of little more.  It isn’t something that I feel that I can share with others, so I was beginning to feel helpless, and I consider myself to be strong, but I was leaving out the very essence of my strength – my HEAVENLY FATHER!  I struggled through the day, and all of a sudden, I burst into tears. That’s when I turned off the TV and the house was quiet, and I fell to my knees sobbing, asking God to lift this heavy burden from my heart, and asked that He resolve this problem according to His Will.  When I finished my prayer I got up and felt peaceful although I had no assurance that He would answer my prayer the way in which I desired.    

To date, the situation has only been partially resolved and I have been on my knees again, But I am not worrying about it any longer because I have given it to God. As I have been pondering this all day, I came across a quote by Billy Graham who said "We can change the course of events if we go to our knees in believing prayer."   Further, I am reminded of 1 John 5: 14-15 - 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (NIV)

Thank you Father for giving us the gift of eternal life and for the truths of your Word. Thank you for hearing our petitions and lifting our burdens. I praise your name and give you the glory..  Thank you for your grace and for your unfaltering love. Thank you for the privilege of coming to you with our burdens, and being assured that all of our supplications are heard.Thank you for showing me that when I ask "Where Can I Go", you show me that I can go to the Lord.  Amen.