Thursday, December 29, 2011

Barriers, Stumbling Blocks or Open Gates?

I've got a bit of a heavy heart this morning.  I was reading several posts on a FB page of an atheist.  He has a huge following.  It wasn't the mocking of Christians by the atheists that got me, it was the vitriol of the supposed Christians towards atheists and other non-believers.

I truly feel like weeping.

My Jesus is so kind and full of compassion and mercy.  He literally wept over Jerusalem because they would not receive him.  He longs to gather us as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.  But so often, even we, who are his, refuse.

The only places I see Jesus getting angry at people is with the religious people, the money changers, and his disciples.

In Matthew 23:13, Jesus excoriates the religious ones, the scribes and the Pharisees,

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
If we do not live and act as Jesus in this earth, we do not walk in the kingdom of heaven. Not only that, but we create barriers keeping those who are seeking for truth, who do not yet know how desperately they need him, from seeing him,and entering into the glory of God.

Woe is a huge word! It expresses deep grief and distress.  Jesus felt their stubborn hypocrisy deeply. He totally understood the results of their actions: lost sheep.

When Jesus burned with anger in the Temple, he over-turned the money changers' tables and drove them out of the Temple with a whip.  Once again, it was those who made it hard for others to enter into his Temple, into his Glory, to come and to receive prayer, healing and relationship with God, that stirred him.
(Matthew 21:12-13)

James and John were two of Jesus' devoted followers.  When Jesus sent them ahead of him to a Samaritan village to prepare for his coming, they  villagers would not receive them. James and John wanted to call down fire to consume them, as Elijah the prophet had done.  Jesus sternly rebuked them!
You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them. Luke 9:55-56
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us examine our hearts and our motives daily.  Let us walk as Jesus walked, preaching the Good News, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead.  Let us plant seeds of kindness and goodness and mercy and hope and faith and Love.

I pray not one of us be a stumbling block to anyone.  Let our eyes be filled the Light of Christ. Let us burn with passion for those God loves.  He is still longing for those who are far off.  Let us be an open gate for them to walk, though into Your Kingdom.

Father, forgive me of ever causing one of your precious ones to stumble.  I love you, Lord!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wisdom for Healing

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


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anna Marie Discovers Hidden Art: Cave Art

Anna Marie Discovers Hidden Art: Cave Art: Queen's Watchdog formation in Longhorn Cavern Underground hidden art. Proverbs 4:23: In my paraphrase, Set a watch over your hear...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Noah's Ark, It is Still Afloat!

I was reading one of my favorite, new blogs this morning.  These words arrested my heart!
"Noah, our eldest, asked a few months ago, “Would you have still wanted me had you known I’d get cancer?”  That’s an astonishing question to cross a nine-year old’s lips.  Obviously the weight of the disease and the stress of the treatments prompted him to take a look at life from a much more adult perspective.  And of course we responded, “Absolutely, we would have still wanted you.”" ~ Bryan, read his blog:
As I read this profound question from this man's young son, my eyes filled to overflowing with tears.  Even now, I am still having trouble seeing my keyboard.  My husband and I are praying for this young man's complete recovery. I hope many will join us.  Jesus never refused to heal someone who came to Him, so we can pray believing the same for this young man.  

His question gave me a new understanding of Father God's heart towards us.  I have asked Him, essentially, the same question before, but could never feel his heart until now. Until Noah.

"God if You knew we were going to choose sin and death over this life You planned for us, why would You still have wanted us?" 

Our sin, our evil, our brokenness is our cancer.  I feel His heart so strong for me and you.  His answer is in the Love.  Even knowing the horrible sacrifice He would suffer for us, His answer is an unequivocal, resounding,"Yes!"  He cannot imagine this Life without us!  So, He willingly paid the price, suffered the horrendous beating, the agonizing death on the cross, overcame the relentless grave so we could be healed spirit, soul and body; never to be separated from Him again!

Lord, thank You for Noah.  Thank You for using him in my life, today, for letting him be the vessel to open my heart to receive Your breathtaking Love!  Pour back into him 1,000-fold return, for what he has given me this day.

Thank you, Noah! You provided me an ark today!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Anoint the Technology?

Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2
The rain is misting, and as I am sitting, propped up in bed thinking about the Lord and His words, there is a steady dripping sound as the water hits our metal roof. It is a soothing sound to me. After months of drought, I could sit here and listen to it for hours.

The Lord revealed a truth to me in this, however.  Sometimes, even small pleasures can be a distraction from my purpose: to spend time listening to my Jesus. (This is not to say small pleasures cannot be gifts from's in the discerning, does it add to your moment, or steal something away?)  As one who is ADD, I am very easily distracted.  But we don't have to have a label on us, to fall into the same trap of being distracted, when it comes to spending time with the Lord, meditating on His Word, and praying. 

We live in a time of awesome technology and opportunity. So many activities present themselves to us, every moment of every day. Without determined intentionality to focus on the Lord and His thoughts toward us, we can be distracted beyond belief! (This is a double entendre.) Distraction is an intentional attempt to divert someone's attention from what they are doing.The enemy of our souls has so many tools to entice us, tools that humans have invented.

As one who loves all the new toys, I have decided to try something.  I have never given my usage of the computer, phone apps, video games, etc. much thought before.  I have simply tried to apply discipline...sometimes failing miserably. Today, however, as I read Proverbs 2:2, I got the brilliant idea of consecrating all my "stuff" to the Lord.  What does that look like?

I am actually going to get my anointing oil, and anoint everything I use: TV,  DVD players, phone, computers, etc., and ask the Lord to bless them to His service, and for His glory; that He would direct my time as it applies to these things.  I will let you know how it goes. I am actually getting excited to go do it!

I want to be purposeful in obtaining wisdom from God.  This was my "download" from Him today.  I am making my ear to pay attention to wisdom today, and reaching out my inner being to the Lord, for His understanding, as I go about my day.

Blessings, Anna Marie
Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's the Small Things...

It's funny, but every morning as I am making my coffee, I remember two wonderful women, and every morning, I think it is funny that I think about them, while I am making my coffee.

When my husband and I were dating, he took me to meet the mother of one of his best friends, Martha Roberts. She was the most gracious woman. Her husband was a well known Houston newspaper columnist, Bill Roberts. I remember walking into their home, and being totally entranced with the books.  Books were everywhere!  As a complete bookophile, I decided then and there, I would save every book I ever read and loved, so that someday, someone would come to my home, and be equally as entranced at my collection.  But, I digress. (I love that word, digress...)

Martha taught me this tiny little trick with coffee making.  She made each cup, individually, using Melitta filters.  She boiled the water, and then, as she poured it into each cup, she only moistened the grounds. She would wait a few seconds, then finished pouring the water into the filters. I remember her saying, "It releases the flavor!"  She was right. And I have made my coffee the same way ever since.

That is one of the memories that accompanies my morning coffee-making  ritual.
The other is about my mom.

One day, Mom was at my house.  I was a new mother.  I made her a cup of coffee.  This was the first time I had been in the position of being a hostess for Mom.  Usually, I would go "home" to hang out with her, and if we drank coffee, it was from her "Mr. Coffee" pot.  I remember Mom watching me make the coffee the way Martha had taught me.  We chatted about the things Martha had explained to me.  When Mom took her first sip, her eyes got big, and she exclaimed, "This is delicious!"

The memory that pops into my head every morning is the result of our little coffee lesson.  From that day on, Mom would always boil her water before putting into her coffee pot! She always would tell anyone who was there watching her, that she learned how to do this from her daughter!  (She had decided that it was the boiled water that had made the difference.  And actually, it did make a huge improvement in the taste of her coffee.) 

So what is my point?  Today, the epiphany came!  The treasure of our lives is hidden in the small things, the moments, the shared bits of life.  I value the way that Martha took time to show me one of her skills, be it ever so small.  And I treasure the way Mom would always tell whoever was drinking her coffee, how she learned to make such a great cup of jo!  I feel so connected to those two beautiful women every day. Today, this gave me a fresh understanding into the heart of Jesus.
In Mark 9:41 he says, "I tell you the truth. If a person helps you by giving you a drink of water because you belong to the Christ, then that person will truly get his reward"
Jesus noticed everything.  He cares about everything.  He wants to reward us for even the smallest, insignificant moments of kindness.   I feel so connected to the Lord in these, little, random things, because, I realize He is in them, and is enjoying my enjoyment!   Rejoice in your daily life!  You can touch someone today in a way that may forever change their life!  The favor of God is in the small things.....

 (Interesting bit about Bill )

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rage Against Evil or Do Good?

David never ceases to inspire me.  If anyone had reason to get enraged at the evils of politics, it was he; anointed to be king, then running for his life instead.

I tried to select just one verse from Psalm 37 today for meditation, but it was all so powerful and encouraging.  I have posted it in its entirety below.  Several words jumped out at me as I read, and I put them in Bold text.  
  • Don't be upset
  • Stop being angry
  • Put away rage
These three things seriously struck home with me, as I tend to get caught up in the world's troubles, in politics, and all the evil I see around me. I know I am not alone in this.  As one who loves the Facebook and Twitter kinds of communication, it is obvious that many of us fall into this trap.  I believe we are not to be ignorant and uninformed about our world and the issues that affect us all,  but we are called to see it through the eyes of Love.  David had some powerful suggestions for us to accomplish this:
  • Trust
  • Do good
  • Delight in Adonai
  • Commit your way to Him
  • Be still
  • Wait patiently
By trusting in Jesus Christ, we are able to do good to those who oppose us.  As we delight in our heavenly Father, we cannot but commit our way to Him.  He knows the Way of light.  If you are finding this difficult, be still and wait patiently for Him. He is near and will not fail you.

Even in strong trials, our hope is secure in the Lord.  From the Cross, Jesus said, "It is finished."  He won. We win, in Him. Love never fails. A soft answer still turns away wrath.

As the world gets darker and more obscure, let us not succumb to the temptation to fight the darkness with more darkness.  Instead, let us light the lamp of the Spirit of Christ, and be a shining beacon  for those caught in the tombs of ignorance.

There is a link to a wonderful worship song at the very end of this post...enjoy!

Psalm 37  ( From The Complete Jewish Bible)

1 By David: Don't be upset by evildoers or envious of those who do wrong, 2 for soon they will wither like grass and fade like the green in the fields. 3 Trust in ADONAI, and do good; settle in the land, and feed on faithfulness. 4 Then you will delight yourself in ADONAI, and he will give you your heart's desire. 5 Commit your way to ADONAI; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will make your vindication shine forth like light, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before ADONAI; wait patiently till he comes. Don't be upset by those whose way succeeds because of their wicked plans. 8 Stop being angry, put aside rage, and don't be upset - it leads to evil. 9 For evildoers will be cut off, but those hoping in ADONAI will inherit the land. 10 Soon the wicked will be no more; you will look for his place, and he won't be there. 11 But the meek will inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

12 The wicked plots against the righteous and grinds his teeth at him; 13 but Adonai laughs at the wicked, knowing his day will come. 14 The wicked have unsheathed their swords, they have strung their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slaughter those whose way is upright. 15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous has than the wealth of all the wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, but ADONAI upholds the righteous. 18ADONAI knows what the wholehearted suffer, but their inheritance lasts forever. 19 They will not be distressed when times are hard; when famine comes, they will have plenty. 20 For the wicked will perish; ADONAI's enemies will be like sheep fat, ending up as smoke, finished.
21 The wicked borrows and doesn't repay, but the righteous is generous and gives. 22 For those blessed by [ADONAI] will inherit the land, but those cursed by him will be cut off. 23ADONAI directs a person's steps, and he delights in his way. 24 He may stumble, but he won't fall headlong, for ADONAI holds him by the hand.

25 I have been young; now I am old; yet not once have I seen the righteous abandoned or his descendants begging for bread. 26 All day long he is generous and lends, and his descendants are blessed. 27 If you turn from evil and do good, you will live safely forever. 28 For ADONAI loves justice and will not abandon his faithful; they are preserved forever. But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. 29 The righteous will inherit the land and live in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous articulates wisdom, his tongue speaks justice. 31 The Torah of his God is in his heart; his footsteps do not falter. 32 The wicked keeps his eye on the righteous, seeking a chance to kill him. 33 But ADONAI will not leave him in his power or let him be condemned when judged.

34 Put your hope in ADONAI, keep to his way, and he will raise you up to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. 35 I have seen a wicked man wielding great power, flourishing like a shade tree in its native soil. 36 But I passed by again, and he was no longer there; I looked for him, but he could not be found.

37 Observe the pure person, consider the upright; for the peaceful person will have posterity. 38 But transgressors will all be destroyed; the posterity of the wicked will be cut off. 39ADONAI is the one who saves the righteous; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40ADONAI helps them and rescues them, rescues them from the wicked and saves them; because they take refuge in him.

Have a moment of worship:"Enough" By Chris Tomlin

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Computers can drive you crazy!

Rats! I was writing a scathingly brilliant blog piece and I hit some keys by accident and boom! It was gone!  And for some unknown cosmic reason, it was not automatically saved....grrr!  For the life of me, I cannot remember what I had written, and it would have been the best yet! :)

Oh well, Blessings to all! Hope you are having a great day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset!

“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.” ~ G.K. Chesteron

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall!

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~ George Eliot  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Salted for Destiny

This morning, sitting in a hotel room in Waco, Tx, I was praying in the Spirit with all my heart.  Suddenly, I had the overwhelming sensation of being in the belly of a great big whale.  Just as suddenly, I felt myself being powerfully regurgitated into my destiny, on the shores of the biggest journey of my life!

I am powerfully aware of a great shift in my life.  Something has been launched and I am in reverential awe as I anticipate this day and the rest of my life.

I have been meditating recently on Ezekiel 47 and the River of Life.  This has been my husband's and my theme scripture for our ministry. We wanted to stay in the deep, over our heads waters that bring healing to the nations.
The scripture that the Lord illuminated to me was the 11th verse, "But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt."

I realized that if I do not stay  in the flow of the river, but get sidetracked into the miry places, I will not be in the healing flow or be used by God for healing.  Yet even in the miry places God is merciful.  In the Torah, the salt covenant is one of the most awesome.  Read this excerpt from this website:

"YHWH’s Salt Covenant (Hebrew, b'rith melah), is the most extraordinary of all HIS Covenants.  It is symbolic of endurance, preservation, and freedom from corruption.  It is a perfect picture of our CREATOR, and it is sprinkled liberally on HIS Ancient Path to preserve it and keep it pure.  The Salt Covenant is rich in spiritual symbolism, and so important that for those who can see, it is visually demonstrated by the salting of the Temple sacrifices, which was to perpetually remind the faithful of their solemn Covenant responsibility to YHWH (Num.18:19).  YHWH instructed the Israelites that every sacrifice, including grain offerings, was to be seasoned with salt as a sign of their Covenant with HIM (Lev. 2:13, Ezek. 43:23-24).  Even the Holy ingredients used for the incense offering were to have salt added. "You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure and holy" (Ex. 30:34-35).  Salt, like the rainbow, is a sign of our CREATOR. "

I have been in a miry place lately.  I realized today as I felt myself been cast upon a new shore, that I have been spending much time, like Lot's wife, looking back.  I have been lost in memories of loved ones long gone.  I have been keeping my eyes in the past when God wants me to keep my eyes on Him and the destiny He created me for.  

The reason I felt compelled to share this with you , is I am a prophetic person.  I have learned through the years, that what I am experiencing in the right now moments, is not just for me, but is a prophetic word for others.  

I believe if you are reading this today, that you are being launched out of the place where you have been stuck and if you are willing, God will lead you on a journey that will change the world!

You have been salted by God to become rich in endurance, preservation and freedom from corruption!

Get ready, get ready, get ready!

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you", says the Lord, "thoughts  of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:11-13

Do not fear!  God is doing a new thing!  He is equipping you even now!  Do you not feel it?

Blessings, Anna Marie  ps read the following post for more on salt!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Abba, by Anna Marie

My Abba

A time away – a moment of peace
Nature sings, hums, and bubbles all around me
As I listen for you, my Abba

In this moment – in this time
Your presence is real – it is palpable
As I hear you, my Abba

Why is it then – why do I fail
To stop and hear you each day; fail to feel your presence
In my daily life, my Abba

As I rush and as I fret
You travel with me patiently
At my feverish pace, my Abba

A time away – a moment of peace
As telephones ring and emails arrive
I pray that I may notice you are there
And stop to say hello
My Abba, my Abba, My precious and faithful Abba.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who Else Wants to Blog a Day? No Way... LOL!

I really wanted to. I tried. I failed.  But! I am picking myself up, and dusting my fingers and keyboard off, and beginning again.

I am a huge fan of second and third and umpteen chances.  Until they sprinkle my ashes into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, I will never give up! 

Speaking of the Black Canyon, has anyone else out there ever been there?  It is completely beautiful.  My husband, Jack, and I, in our foolish, newly-wedded blissful state, crawled over the edge and climbed down to sit on a tiny ledge, with our feet dangling almost two thousand feet above ground!  (It was an awesome spot to share a breath-taking kiss!) ;=)) What a difference thirty+ years I would freak out if the grandkids got too near the edge! 

Some day, I want to ride the donkeys down into the Grand Canyon.  I have been blessed to see it from the north rim and the south rim. 
I even like little canyons.  We had a "secret" canyon on my mother-in-law's property near La Grange, TX.  It cut down into the earth about thirty feet.  At the base of the canyon was a dry creek-bed that would flood during a good rainstorm.  We spent many happy hours exploring and looking for artifacts and unusual rocks.  Found several nice arrowheads and  and a fossil or two.  I am looking forward to some cooler weather, so I can take my grandkids exploring for earthen treasures. (Not too close to any steep cliff-edges!)

The crispy early morning air, just begs me to explore.
Strolling down the earthen path, I feel my spirit soar.
The dusty road has left me notes about my nighttime friends.
There're little fawn feet, racoon hands and all around the bend,
I even see a slither trail, I'm glad it's gone before!


Photos - 2011 05 Art Car Parade Lineup for Orange Show in Houston, TX

Encourage the artist within!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured!

Nothing says textured like Ice Sculpture!
Or...Princess Gravel!

What Really Matters?

Today the challenge from WordPress blog a day was to remember something important you have lost.

When it comes down to it, the only "things" important that I have lost are people.  Nothing in this life is more precious than the people God has placed in our lives.  When we truly boil it all down, we can lose everything that we have worked all our lives for, but if we still have our loved ones, we consider ourselves most blessed.

Love is the most enduring substance there is. As I watched the stories of the the First Responders of 911, what stood out powerfully was the intensity of saving life.  Two brothers re-united reduced me to tears.

My prayer is, that I never forget to honor and cherish my relationships with the people that God has placed in my life, from the closest to the acquaintance.

Even the Facebook friends I have learned to love are a blessing to me.  Thank You, Jesus for the intense reminders of how much You love us and how much You want us to love.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

As Through Fire...

The air around my house is smoke-filled; the acrid smell so strong, it woke me up at 4:30 this morning.  I rushed to the door to see if the fires had come to us.  Gratefully, we are not among the victims.

Right now, Texas is on fire. The merciless drought and the high winds have culminated in devastation.  I am watching the stories of terrible loss, grown men crying, but looking ahead to re-build.  Bastrop, TX looks like a war-zone.
My heart hurts for those who have lost everything.  I pray for their families.  There have not been any reports of deaths, which is a blessing.

I remember a couple, in our church back in the eighties, who returned home from a trip to see their house in ashes on the ground, and fire-fighters finishing their work.  As they stood there holding each other, all they could say was, “We are so grateful we still have each other.”  They had lived in that place for their entire married life, over 30 years.  Every photo, every memento, gone, but they were able to comprehend, in that moment, what truly mattered to them, their love for each other.

I have never forgotten that night. It gives me hope for those suffering right now.  I pray that they will be fortified with hope and the outpouring of love and help from the community.

Watching these terrifying events unfold has had me reflecting on the words of Paul in 1Corinthians 3:10-15:

"According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it.11 For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 13 each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." RSV

It is difficult to imagine the devastation that can be left by fire until you see it in reality. When it utterly destroys a building, the only things that remain are the foundation (if it was properly built), those things that were fireproof, and the Human parts that make the home: the love, the memories, the people.

As I am searching my heart today, I am asking the Lord to reveal to me anything that I am building that is not fireproof. I am asking that He teaches me how to properly construct every detail of my life and ministry, so that I only use the most precious stones and purest gold and silver. Basically, what I know to be true, for me, is people are all that really matter.  Helping people to come to know and love their God, come to know and love themselves, and come to know and love others, is the greatest treasure in my life.  If I lost everything else, it would be okay, as long as those remain. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

We Can be Happy!

This tiny pink flower is less than 1/4 inch wide in the bloom
 and  maybe 1 in. tall.    Hope in a dry thirsty land!
"The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world." 

I found this beautiful quote by Natalie Goldberg in my favorite book on writing, The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron.  Ms. Cameron has such a love for writing, but even more she oozes encouragement to the rest of us.
She reminds us that we all have a voice. And it is through sharing our words that we connect to each other.

I have so fallen in love with the awesome power of the Internet to connect me with people who are faceless to me, but whom I know, because we share ourselves through our writing.  It has an eternal feel to it.  Just as prayer we send out for people, who we only know by a name from an e-mail, or Facebook, or Twitter, and we may not ever know the impact of until we meet again in Glory, these blogs reach other's hearts and minds in a way we may never know, but it is felt in the Soul.  It is a form of brotherly love.

In her book, Ms. Cameron suggests making a list of those things that bring you happiness.  Her suggestion is for 50.  That may be tough to do, but I would encourage you to give it a try.  I have been working on my list for awhile.  I am still not up to 50.  I was shocked at that.  I am a rather happy person by nature, but this exercise made me realize that I have to be more intentional in my life.

I am going to share the top ten from my list for you, as a pump primer.  The items don't have to be profound or complex, just straight from your heart.  Try it. You 'll like it!  Try to write them down as they pop in your head.

1. Being lost in worship
2. The faces of my grand-children
3. The Beach Boys or John Denver Beach Boys- Wouldn't it be nice? (Click here to hear one of my favs!)
4. When my husband tells me I look pretty
5. Finding a flower growing in the midst of a drought (Hence, the picture at the top of this blog.)
6. The perfect slice of pizza
7. Sharing with others the ways God has touched my life
8. Making snow-angels
9. E-mails from my cousin George (And he will surely say something about being at the end of this list! LOL)
10. When someone tells me they liked something I have written....that really floats my boat!

Blessings, Your soul-sista, Anna Marie

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Return to Me

Have you ever awakened in the morning with a dark cloud of depression around you?  It makes you feel hopeless and unable to get out of bed.  Depression is one of the tools the enemy has used against me in my life.  I remind myself, when "it" comes at me, that I am on a journey and that I have the victory over all the power of the enemy.  Sometimes, I have to slug through some sludge, to get to the Light.

This morning was such a time. Lying in bed, unable to move, imprisoned by emotions of grief and intense "aloneness,"  I cried out to the Lord, " I just need to hear Your voice."  As I lay there, worrying about all these issues running through my mind, I heard Him speak:

"Anna Marie, Anna Marie, you are worried about many things, but 
only one thing is needed, come and sit with me and learn from me."  (Luke 10:41)

Tears began to flow as I felt His Holy Presence.  The depression evaporated, and I felt so loved and surrounded by Love.  I realized that I had been caught up in worry and busyness. I had not taken the time to sit with my Heavenly Father, and be filled up with His love.  As I opened my Bible, and began to read, fresh understanding was there for me. I am renewed. 

And, as it almost always happens, everyone I prayed with today, or ministered to, was suffering from depression or anxiety.  It is beneficial to have training in the trenches of life.  If we let Him, God turns our pain and sorrows into glory for others on the Way.  

Blessings, dear ones.  May you be lifted up and filled with Joy this day! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Road Less Traveled

About a week ago, I decided to walk like my grand-dog, walking in crazy circles through underbrush and trails barely seen, as part of my exercise routine.  It has made me feel like a kid again!

As she and I were out on our daily walk,  I saw her at this cross road... if you look closely there is a set of tire tracks diverging to the left.  Up from the recesses of my memory came the poem of Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken,  and his words:

 " I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

This poem had a significant impact on me when I was in grade school.  I don't remember how old I was, but I remember reading this poem and deciding to always take the less traveled road.  

As I reflected, walking with Cocoa,  I realized that the times I had followed the profound verse of Mr. Frost, my life had been the most fulfilling. They were never easy, but always good.  The times I had followed the easy path,  I would find myself in a rut. 

I never thought that walking like a dog would bring me back to myself.  But it has, "and that has made all the difference!" 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers!

Went on a search for flowers today.  What a snipe hunt! There was not a flower to be is so hot and dry!  So I thought, hey! cemeteries usually have I went in hope.  I decided to try to find the grave of Ima Hogg, a Texas philanthropist, who was laid to rest in Austin, TX  at the historic Oakwood Cemetery.  Sadly, the place is rundown and there were no markers to point the way.  I am going to try again when it is cooler!

I met a very elderly gentleman who was watering a plant and the grass around his mother's grave.  She had been gone over 30 years, and he was the last living relative.  I was so touched by the obvious care!

These flowers looked very lovely!  Silk! It's not my best photo, I forgot to bring my camera!! Took this with my phone. I am telling you, the heat is frying my brain!!

I think a flower photo challenge would be better in the Spring for us Texans!  Just sayin'....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jesus has always caused trouble!

Matthew 2:1-3
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise-men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (Emphasis mine)

Jesus has always caused trouble!  Even when He was born, in a time with no TV, internet, or cell phone communication, the news of His manifesting spread across the known world!  God has His ways of getting the Word out!  And the enemy wants to stop it! You can almost gauge how true a visitation of the Lord is by the opposition that is stirred against it.

I had never noticed the second part of verse three before: "and all Jerusalem with him."  According to historians, Jerusalem at the time of Christ's birth had a population between 30,000- 50,000, not counting the pilgrims who would come to worship.  Even if this passage is only referring to the leaders of the city that is still a significant number. Imagine, everyone stirred up and troubled by what should have brought the greatest of rejoicing to the Jews: their Messiah had come!

Recently, our Governor of Texas, called for a solemn assembly, a day of prayer and fasting, at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX.  I thought that the stadium would be filled to overflowing, just from the Christians who live in the city of Houston.  Instead, there was an outcry against the event, not just from non-Christians, which was to be expected, but from Christians whom I have had considerable respect for.  The judgement and presupposition of what it was all about was astounding!  Instead of rejoicing,  coming to see, and to let their voices and prayers be heard, they condemned. They were "troubled."  I have been particularly sad about the voices of condemnation.  But this passage helps me to realize that some things will never change until Jesus returns, and His Kingdom is once and for all established.

The videos can be seen at  through the end of August.  I hope that if you read this blog, you will check it out for yourself.  Just imagine, if the news spread through the city of Jerusalem without video archives, how many in the country and around the world could be affected in our time!

Blessings and Peace, Anna Marie

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refreshing!

The Lord is my Shepherd...He leads me beside the still waters...and refreshes my soul!
Looking to Him I see my reflection more clearly!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Worn!

In Spring and Summer the trees wear the leaves, but in the
 fall they
 are worn by the
 ground;  a beautiful, artistic expression of nature!  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

60 Day Health Challenge

Day 40!


Me speaking at the 2006 OSL Conference in New Jersey
This week is the North American OSL Healing Conference.  The OSL stands for the International Order of St. Luke the Physician.  Every year we get together from all over North America to learn, and pray, and rejoice over our God who heals us.  It is like a family reunion for the Body of Christ!  This year we are meeting in San Diego, California. We have wonderful speakers and leaders this year.  Jack and I are glad to be a part of it, leading a workshop.
(It is not too late to sign up!)
Click here for registration info.)

I am getting so excited to see old friends and make new ones!  Every time we get together, God shows out!  A few years ago, a woman was healed of blindness...instantly!  It was very dramatic!  But there are the small thing that happen, too.  Back's are healed, knees made new, painful memories are transformed, relationships are healed...the list is endless. 

I get happy just thinking about it, yet as I am sitting here writing this blog, and getting ready to send it out into the universe, I am realizing that each new day holds the same excitement, if I just expect it.  Every day is a new chance to reach out and reconnect with loved ones, and make new friends.  Each new day is another opportunity to watch God show out!  Part of the reason that conferences are so spectacular is that we go with expectancy and intentionality.  

Lord, help me to be intentional for You today.  Help me to have an expectancy that You are going to do wondrous things through me this day.   Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to guide my steps and words and actions this day.  Let me show up at the meeting with a brand new healing testimony to share!  Thank You for living in me.  Thank You for loving me.  I hope You will enjoy our conference, too, Abba!  xoxox Anna Marie

Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning!

 As I watched the sun rise, I was in awe that the mist on the water moved towards the sun!

Glory Day!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers!


These numbers represent hope and healing and joy to thousands who have come here for healing prayer.
Christ Healing Center, 135 W. Olmos Drive.  San Antonio, TX.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Perspective of Community!

I love taking photos.  I love the way a camera focuses my vision.  When you get behind the lens of a camera, you are always looking for that perfect shot.  I am sometimes amazed at the things I see in a picture that I missed in real view; for example, the expressions on faces of people in the background, the bugs on the flowers, and sometimes even optical illusions that demonstrate the power of perspective!

I have an incredibly talented cousin, Karen, who takes some of the most creative photos I have ever seen.  She taught me the power of perspective.  She and her husband both love to take pictures looking up at things, buildings, faces etc.  What it makes me think of, is how our perspective changes when we look up to God.  He is the Creator, and when we look at things with His point of reference we see new possibilities.

This past Tuesday, I had such an aha moment.  As I was talking to God,  He gave me the idea of blogging my health plan.  I have learned that everything in my life goes better when I am in Community; when I walk out my journey with brothers and sisters.  I am held accountable to my life.  When I live "in the Light as He is in the Light, I have fellowship with them, and the Blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin." (paraphrase of 1 John: 1:7.)

This means I am cleansed in a way which removes those ways in which I miss the mark, through my transparency with my Community, and submission to their holding me accountable in ways that may not happen when I walk alone.

This was a new perspective for me.  I have always tried to get healthy on my own.  Never before have I shared my thoughts and habits and struggles with others as I am doing through this blog:

I have felt the difference in knowing I am accountable.  Now, I know that this is not a new concept to many of you.  Groups like Weight Watchers have helped millions.  But this is different for me.  I am asking God about everything I do and eat, and don't do or eat.  I am feeling His good pleasure as I turn all these decisions over to Him.  I don't think I have ever felt this free before or this empowered!

Today I worked the polls for our city-wide election.  My coworkers came loaded for bear!  They brought honey-buns, cookies, nuts etc... As I asked the Lord about the goodies, thinking that 'this is a special day,' wanting to participate in mindless snacking, I realized He was saying, "Really? You want to eat that junk???"
Suddenly, none of it appealed.  I was actually repelled by the thought of putting all that junk in my body, and my day became so easy!  It actually got funny!  They kept saying, "You sure you don't want anything??"  They even sent out for ice cream!  I had absolutely NO desire for any of it!! This is so new! I felt so blessed and empowered!

My perspective has positively changed!  I never want to eat anything without asking Jesus about it again!  What was truly the icing on the cake for me...(I need to change my metaphors) was when about 30 minutes after my friends consumed their ice cream, they were complaining about how miserable they felt!  I tried quite hard not to fall into the sin of smug!  LOL!

Blessing y'all!! Anna Marie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Even the Cactus Blooms!

I am encouraged by watching nature!  Even when I feel my very worst, I see the prickly pear cactus. Normally, the cactus is looking really bad: boring color, spiky thorns and non-descript.  But in due season, it blooms and there is nothing more lovely.

Today, I woke up feeling like the blooming cactus.  Had the idea of starting a blog to journal my progress over the next 60 days as I live into the bloom!  I have the need to be held accountable for my decision.  I used to get that from a runner's group I belonged to.  But now my life is too crazy to meet others on Saturdays to run.  So you all are my new group!  I have already heard from a few that are joining me on the challenge.

If anyone else wants to join, just go to Leave your name and blog address(If you have one) in the comment section.  Become a follower of the blog and share the link on your Facebook   Let me know you have done it and I will add your name to a drawing for a free book, God's Healing River and a bracelet. The drawing will be after the 60 days are up.

Let us know what you are doing for your challenge and any prayer requests you have as we go along.

Just think, by July 10 we will be gorgeous and healthy and energized!!!

Blessings, Anna Marie

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Words to Bless and Heal the Body of Christ!

At a recent OSL Healing Conference, in Dallas, TX,  The Lord instructed us to open the microphone to the people and have them share the thing that was most burning in their hearts.  I have posted the video link to watch, but thought that you may enjoy a summary.  Check out the video when you can.  It is a beautiful display of God's glory on His children! Healing Conference, St. Luke's Dallas, TX click here for video!

  • Many have been in darkness this year.  It has been hard.  But just wait!  Dawn is coming- Jesus is rising!
  • Could you sleep if there was just one poisonous snake loose in your house?  Spiritual housekeeping is needed.  Are we satisfied with little things, with little visitations?  We are capable of ALL of God, because with the Light of Christ we are able to perceive!
  • Change.  We are more than conquerors.  We are coming out of the desert into an oasis.  Those things we have travailed for are coming.
  • The time is now!  We have secured the planning.  We are on the mountaintop...we ALL have to go!  What are we waiting for?  We must arise!  We are crucifying Him (Jesus) by not not speaking!!  Open your gate!  Ephphathah! (Greek)  Be opened!  
  • The following was a song sung by the Spirit:  Do not fear my children.  Come to Me.  I Am with you right now.  I love you all so much!  Receive My love.
  • A testimony of healing:  "I had an irritated finger for three years.  I spoke to the Lord and asked Him to show me His power.  Instantly, my finger was healed!"
  • Another song, sung in response to God:  I love You, Lord.  And I lift my voice, to worship You, oh, my soul, rejoice!  Take joy my King, in what You hear.  May it be a sweet, sweet sound, in Your ear.
  • "Whenever I do what He tells me to do, I am blessed!"
  • Committed Christians must come out of the closet and share the Gospel.  Confront and challenge those who are not speaking the truth. (In Love)  God has so much to teach us. 
  • I read a prophetic word that I had blogged previously. Click here to read it!  Assemble the Elders!  Wisdom is arising!  Joel 1:2.  Prepare to be poured out!  Lift up and gather the elders and walk into our maturity!  
  • A response showed the truth of the previous post:  A woman, advanced in years stepped forward and shared how she was raising up a new OSL Chapter. Interested in healing? Check out this organization!
  • Remember!  A conversation is 1/2 listening, not all talking!  This applies to our conversations with God as well!
  • One woman shared she had been praying for her husband to receive the Lord.  Two days before he died, he prayed with a minister!  Never give up!
  • Giving:  A woman prayed for a giving heart.  Had the realization that EVERYTHING we have is God's. She had a total release!  "It's not mine, we are entrusted with it; money, time, whatever!  Let it go with joy!  We are of the Kingdom of God.  He will resource us!
  • A woman had her knee healed!
  • Wisdom from an elder clergy spouse.  "God is first, I am second and and the church is third!  This is how marriage should be, especially in clergy families."  (May I say, God is everything and it all falls into place.)
  • From an older fellow: "God looks for people who are not even looking for Him!  3 years ago, I wasn't looking, but He found me and I was born again, saved!  2 years ago, I was healed of a life-time of smoking!  He is present always!"
  • Live an open life!
These were just some of the gems of wisdom that came forth.  It is summed up in John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you , that you also love one another."

And again, in John 20:21: "Jesus said to them again, 'Peace to you!  As the Father sent Me, I also send you...receive the Holy Spirit'."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Retire or Re-fire?

Joshua 13:1 
1NOW JOSHUA was old and gone far in years [over 100], and the Lord said to him, You have grown old and are gone far in years, and very much of the land still remains to be possessed.

God has a different retirement plan for us than we have!  Here's Joshua, over 100 years old, and his commission to posses the land has not been accomplished.  God doesn't say, 
"Good job, Josh, you have really worked hard.  Time to relax and let the younger ones take over.  Go play some golf and enjoy some fishing."

No, He gives him instructions on how to divide the land among the tribes and to get going!  

I cannot seem to get away from the word the Lord gave me, to assemble the elders.  Lately, He has been putting elders in my path and telling me to encourage them to take their place in the Body.  Some of the most faithful and powerful prayer warriors we have at our healing center are over the age of 70!  We learn much from them.  Yesterday, a woman in her 90's showed up and wants to be of service!  

I have had an awakening in my own heart, that I am really just getting started, after serving the Lord for almost 40 years.  Much of my walk has been stumbling in the dark.  I have had a few falls, bloodied knees and a broken heart.  Yet I rejoice!  I have obtained much wisdom and discernment.  I have just realized that all which has gone before has been my boot-camp!  

The greatest lesson I have learned is, duh, don't walk outside of the Light!  "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

Join with me today.  Let us go out, with the Light of Jesus surrounding us, filling us and directing our path, and see what beautiful encounters we can have as we advance the Kingdom of God!  Alleluia! He is risen!