Monday, February 28, 2011

Can You Receive It?

Last night, looking through an old photo album for a particular picture, I found one I had seen many times of me and my mom on the day in 1975 when I brought our first son home from the hospital.
Looking at this picture, I have a new understanding of the Scripture,

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things, for now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am known. And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
~1 Corinthians 13:11-13

I always knew my mom loved me and I always loved her,  but it wasn't until two weeks before she died, after suffering for years from the aftermath of a debilitating stroke, that I received her blessing.  Mind you the emphasis is on received.  Through a Bible study I had been doing the Lord had revealed to me that I had a spirit of rejection in my life that was generational.  It had to do with appreciating my femininity.

Jack prayed for me and got that nasty spirit out of me and I was a new person!  Before, I was unable to receive Mom's love in the fullest, because of this spirit. After, I was blessed by her in a most powerful way.  That is a story for another time, but last night I realized the blessing of her love in the picture that was so intense it took my breath away.  I sat with the picture on my chest for hours, just holding it and soaking up her love.

In the picture, I am looking at the camera, but my mom is looking at me.  I was stunned as I stared at it and realized I had never seen that aspect of the picture before!  I had always been looking at myself and thinking how awful I looked.  As I looked at it with new vision, I saw the truth of her love like I have never experienced in my life.  There is such a big balloon of love being blown up in my heart, I almost feel like it will explode! It is sweetness personified.

But I have to say, as glorious as this new love I am feeling from my mom is, it is nothing compared to the revelation of the Lord it has given me.  You see, when I was looking at myself in the snapshot, it was as looking in a mirror dimly.  But when I looked at her, the Light went off! I see her face to face!
I see just how much she loved me!  In the same way, as we get our eyes off of ourselves and how everything applies to us, and put our eyes on Jesus, the veil is ripped away and we see Him face to face.  We no longer need to see in the mirror dimly.  We no longer have to keep reflecting on ourselves, but we can look at Jesus.  We can see His love being poured out for us over and over again!  We are so loved!  He adores us!  We don't have to wait to die and go to heaven to experience Him face to face!  Oh, Thank You, Lord!!

So may I encourage you, dear one, to look to Jesus?  See Him as he spoke to the woman caught in adultery, not condemning but releasing her into freedom.  See Him weeping over Jerusalem.  See Him healing and delivering those in need. See Him being beaten for your diseases.  Behold His face on the cross, looking out through time right into your eyes.  Know He is there for you.  He is gazing on you with love and adoration.  Can you receive it?  Blessings, Anna Marie

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Got Empathy?

I was scarfing up my favorite dish, "Love Veggies," one afternoon at The Magnolia Cafe in Austin, Texas (A must do for your bucket list!) when I noticed two young women being seated nearby.  The girls were all dressed in black.  They had tattoos, and piercings so numerous they would not have made it through the metal detectors at the airport!  One girl's hair was cut like a Mohawk and dyed lime green. The other had bright tangerine orange hair that looked like a small bowl had been placed on her head and everything below the rim of the bowl had been removed.  They had angry faces and not even the smallest glimmer of joy.

Trying not to stare, I began to rack my brain for an opening line so I could tell them about Jesus.  I received a new level of respect for the creative power of guys to "pick up" gals.  Nothing.  I played through all kinds of lines. They all sounded so canned.

"Lord, what is wrong with me? I can't think of anything to say that doesn't sound preachy or 'holier than thou'!"

I wasn't prepared for what He spoke to my heart.

"You have lost your first love"  

Tears welled up and I was devastated.  It was true.  I had become religious and was not looking at those women with His eyes of Love, but rather, I was judging them.  I had spent so many years living my entire life in the church, teaching, preaching, serving other Christians, I had lost touch with the world.  I did not have one ounce of empathy for those women, because I could in no way find myself in their shoes.  I practically ran out of the cafe, and sat in my truck outside bawling.  It was a day almost as intense as the day I gave my life to Jesus the first time.  Humility, remorse and gratitude poured out of me towards the Lord, for showing me the true state of my heart. I was home.  

Comprehension dawned: If I had had the Love in me, speaking to those women would have been easy and He would have given me the words; and further, the Love in me may have attracted them to Jesus.  When we walk in the Light as He is in the Light,  darkness has to flee.  When Love walks in, fear jumps out the window! 

I have never forgotten the lesson learned that day.  Now, when I find myself being judgmental or not able to empathize with others, I take a look at myself and do a "first love" check.  Love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
 ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 7-8a

Blessings, Anna Marie

Friday, February 25, 2011

Blog or Brain Fog?

There are days when I really want to express what is in my heart, but it seems my head has left the planet!  I search through the universe that is my mind, but discover it is actually a black hole.  All the deep, profound, erudite (As Annette would say,"That's redundant!" Ha Ha!) thoughts have been sucked into the next universe.

So what I would like to share with you is is a recipe!  Last night I made some gluten-free corn muffins.  They were really good and my husband, Jack, said if I hadn't told him he wouldn't have been able to tell.

Grammabanana's Gluten-Free Corn Muffins

1 C organic gluten-free corn meal
1 C organic brown rice flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 C organic raw sugar
1 C organic buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 C Canola oil

Mix all ingredients together with a fork until just mixed.

Generously grease muffin pan with bacon grease. (I save bacon grease in a cup in my refrigerator, you could use another shortening if you want, but the flavor would be less)  I used a large sized muffin tin and the recipe filled 9 spots. I could have stretched it to 12 but I wanted large muffins.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.  (I actually am not sure how long I baked them...I was busy on Facebook!)

Enjoy!  PS if you have to do dairy-free, use rice milk and 4 tsp of baking powder in stead of the soda)

Title: I’m Posting every day in 2011!

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day for all of 2011.
I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.
If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.
Anna Marie 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mystic River

As far back as I can remember I had a recurring dream.  I would be walking along the river bank. I longed to jump in the river, but I wasn't sure I could swim.  Suddenly, I was in the river and began to panic because the water was over my head and I thought I was going to drown. I couldn't hold my breath any longer and breathed in the water.  I was in total wonder and joy because I could breathe and discovered that the river was my natural habitat! It was so cool!

I had this dream several times per week until I was 19-years old.  I never gave it any more thought until one day, more than 20 years later, I was driving home from a conference that my husband, Jack, and I had led in Houston, TX.
I was listening to a song by Michael W Smith, "Water of Life,"  and a wave of powerful emotion overwhelmed me as I heard the words: "I'm in the river that flows from Your throne, water of Life, water of Life; it covers me and I breathe again, Your love is breath to my soul."

I began to weep and sob and had to pull my truck over to the side of the road.  The memory of that long ago dream washed over me with the awesome realization that it had been God calling to me all those years.  I gave my life to Jesus when I was 19 and the dream stopped because it was now my reality!  I have never felt so loved in my life.

For the first time,  I KNEW that God had called me. Even now, writing these words I am overcome with thankfulness and wonder and humility and tears.  How is it that I, an insignificant vapor, could have been formed by a God so magnificent, who created our world and the worlds beyond and everything we can see and cannot see, yet He wanted me.  He called to me. He sought me, bought me, healed me, filled me, but more than anything else, HE loves ME!  Thank You Abba Father!

I hope that each one who views this glimpse of my life will receive your own revelation of how Much God loves You!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Eternal Breaks Through!

A wise person once told me that when you are not hearing the voice of the Lord, to go back to the last thing He told you to do and do that.  It is kind of like getting lost in the woods.  When you find yourself going in circles, stop and wait.

My journey with the Lord has been a lot like wandering in the woods.  So often, I am going in circles and covering the same ground over and over.  It is never a loss, however.  I love wandering in the literal woods and when I am outdoors in God's creation, there is always something new to wonder at.  The other day,  walking outside with my grandchildren, I noticed everything painted with the brown of Texas winter.  I was looking earnestly for something new and alive in the dead leaves and grasses.  Suddenly, there it was!  A tiny, pinhead sized bright purple flower sparkled up at me, bringing the hope of spring!

This minuscule piece of glory gave me such revelation into the heart of Faith.  That little flower was about the size of a mustard seed.  Gazing at it, in my mind's eye, I could see the field surrounding it filled with all the fabulous flowers of spring.  They were so real.  There was a certainty in my heart that they would soon be there: Blue-bonnets, Indian-paintbrushes, Rain-lilies, Blackfoot-daisies.  I could see them all just as if they were already there.

In the same way, The Lord is speaking to my heart to stop and wait; to look deeply into the wilderness journey I have been on and remember.  He is telling me to recall the places in my life where the eternal broke through into my life, much as that sparkling, purple flower broke through the dead, brown ground, and brought my feet to my high places.  Those places where I could see forever.

This morning, I read in Psalm 41 the three verses that brought me out of deep despair in 1978:
1 How blessed is he who considers the helpless; 
2 The Lord will protect him and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desires of his enemies. 
3 The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health.

Our youngest son, Stephen, had been born, prematurely, and with Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.  He was not doing well, at all.  I was not able to hold him or feed him.  His heart would stop every time they tried to get him off 100% oxygen to room air.  I was stricken with anguish.  A dear friend, Steven Plummer, called to pray with me.  At the same time, our two year old son, John Erin, had toddled off and found my Bible and brought it to me.  He opened it to Psalm 41 and said, " Read, mommy!"  

As Steven prayed and I read those precious Words, I knew our ordeal was over.  The doctor had just told me that Stevie would be on oxygen for weeks and may not even survive.  (He was a total jerk, whom I had to forgive!)  24 hours from our prayer, Stevie was off oxygen and in my arms! This same "encouraging" doctor, still not happy, said that Stevie would still have to learn how to nurse and that could take a lot of time...Stevie showed him!  He locked on and went to town.  Within days, he was home. 

This is my purple flower of hope I am releasing out into the world today.  Remembering the power of that encounter with God, through my brother, Steven and my darling son, John Erin, I am filled with hope and wonder once again.  

Thank You, Father!  

Friday, February 18, 2011

An Experiment in Faith

Jesus spoke so many radical things.  He did so many radical things.  I want to be a radical thing!  I have given much thought recently to Jesus' words: "I only do what I see my Father doing and I only speak what I hear Him saying."  I have wanted to enter into this kind of life, in Him.  My difficulty has been first and foremost distractability!  (I don't know if that is a word, but if not it is now!)  I have a tremendous ability to be distracted.  In the past, the only way I have been able to be still and listen is to retreat.  I know there is a time and place for retreats, Jesus retreated often.  But He came back into the world and was able to maintain the connection with the Father as He walked.

Today, I am intentionally going to listen and watch as I go. I am rebuking all distractions, even if I have to do it every 5 minutes! (I am serious about this, Lord!!)  The Word I received this morning was from Luke 6:27-28:

"But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you , and pray for those who spitefully use you."  

This is radical living!  I expect that today will be filled with challenges to this Word.  If anyone is reading this, please pray for me.  I want to go and make a Kingdom difference today.  I will be reporting back to you, what happens today.  Blessings, Anna Marie

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 38! Reflection on C.H. Spurgeon's Devotional

There is a wonderful tool on the internet for hungry believers.  It has wonderful bible study tools: dictionaries, multiple translations, commentaries links etc. Highly recommend to you! 

Anyway, this morning on the studylight website, C.H. Spurgeon's devotional was on the passage from Phillipians that I was blogging about several days ago. Phillipians 4:12 "I know how to abound."  Spurgeon gave me a different perspective.  His was a warning about abounding.

 "Fulness of bread has often made fulness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God's providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God's grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry-so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you "how to be full. " 

I am reflecting upon this in light of my own journey into hearing and knowing God in a deeper more profound way. Is it possible to walk in a relationship with God that is so "full" that one gets prideful and takes the relationship for granted?  It seems unlikely, but yes, I think that can truly happen. 

Remember Moses leading the people in the wilderness?  Now here was a man who was tight with the Lord.  So tight, he took the relationship for granted. He once had been told by God to strike a rock to get water for the people as they traveled through the desert.  Thirty-some-odd years later, when God told him to only speak to the rock to get the water he didn't listen.  He fell back on old revelation and hit the rock again, not just once, but twice!  (More dramatic effect!)  

I am feeling convicted here.  This is exactly what I have been doing.  I get revelation from my precious Lord, and assume it is now the holy doctrine for life!  When I think I am close and listening and full, what may be happening is assumption. Forgive me, Lord! 

I think this is one of the important reasons He calls us to be part of His Body.  We each receive from Him and as we share our hearts and lives with one another, we are refined.  If we are walking in old revelation, our brothers and sisters in Christ will help us to see it, if we are vulnerable with each other. 

The Lord loves to do new things.  He is the Creator!  I am understanding the silence of this fast more.  Being silent, emptying one's soul before the Lord allows His Spirit to flow through us in a new way every moment.  I am learning through this time of seeking Him with all my heart that He really is preparing me for newness of Life! Glory!!

Help me to always stay open to You Lord and to Your voice and heart.  Thank You that I am learning to trust You in a brand new way.  Help me to never take You for granted, but to always listen for Your creative new instructions.  I love you Lord!  Yours Truly, Anna Marie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 37! Tick Tock! Tick Tock!

Hey! We are almost there!!
Remind me not to fast during the coldest days of the year!!  Man! It is cold out there!  The wind has been blowing so hard, the flashing on our roof has blown loose! It sounds like an airplane taking off and landing!
I know I should not complain as so many friends and family are still digging their way out their front doors. But what the heck? Complaining can be fun!

Can I confess?  I am really looking forward to a juicy steak!! Beef!!!!!

This desire to feast has me thinking about the power of fasting and feasting. I found this awesome post  on:

• Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
• Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of life.
• Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
• Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
• Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
• Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
• Fast from anger; feast on patience.
• Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
• Fast from worry; feast on divine order.
• Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
• Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
• Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
• Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance.
• Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
• Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
• Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
• Fast from discouragements; feast on hope.
• Fast from facts that depress; feast on verities that uplift.
• Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
• Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
• Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.
• Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
• Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.
Reprinted from Marist Messenger, March 2003

I am going to meditate on these beautiful principles from now until Easter.  Hope they bless you as well!
Let me hear from any of you if you have any to add to the list! 

Blessings to you, my friends! Anna Marie

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 36! My Daily Bread?

This morning I was led to read Mark 9:14-29.  The disciples had attempted to cast a demon out of a boy, but had failed.  The boy's father comes to Jesus and asks Him to help. Jesus rebukes the spirit and heals the boy.  When the disciples ask Jesus why they could not cast it out, He replies, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."

What always stands out to me is Jesus said this but He didn't go fast and pray before casting the demon out.  Thus, I believe He lived a life of prayer and fasting.  I remember when He told his disciples when they urged Him to eat on their journey through Samaria, "I have food to eat of which you do not know....My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work."

He didn't impose fasting on them while He was with them, but He was showing them the future; when He would no longer be with them in the flesh.  Fasting somehow allows for a greater intimacy with God which equips us to do His will.  It removes barriers in us to the flow of His Spirit. Perhaps those barriers come down as we submit our wills by choosing His will for sustenance rather than food.

However fasting works, I am thankful for this gift.  This corporate fast has been a rich experience for me.  I have found much joy in the testimonies and revelations I have heard from my fellow sojourners.  40 days sounded like a really long time before we started.  Now it feels like it has gone by way to quickly.  I have heard from  some who want us to keep the Facebook group going as well as the fasting website.  I believe that this is a good idea.  I know I have felt so connected spiritually to all those who are posting comments and prayer requests.  Perhaps having these forums will encourage all of to make this a lifestyle; that we may say with Jesus, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 33! Anger Flares Up...

I really do not want to write about this.  I do not want to let the world know how incensed I am.  I hate this feeling.  There is an incredibly heavy weight on my chest that started yesterday in a conversation I had with my husband and a friend...There we were, talking about texting on cell phones. (I have texting blocked on our account.)  Jack wants to be able to get text messages. I HATE text messages!  This is irrational.  But I HATE them!  Well, I went on a rant and thoroughly annoyed my spouse and probably terrorized our sweet friend...who loves to text!  
"One more thing you need to drive distractedly," I blurted! 
I was not a nice person. 
So, being the wonderfully insightful Christian person that I am, I stopped working on this blog for several hours. Now I am back to give you the "rest of the story."  I have learned several things about fasting and the most difficult thing is not going without food, it's the nasty little pieces of dead, stinking, rotten flesh that surface.  God knows what is hidden in the depths and He wants it confessed and under the Blood of Jesus.  

Anger can be a cover-up emotion.  We get angry, sometimes, when we do not want to feel a more painful emotion like fear or grief.  Hence,  I called a trusted friend for prayer.  KK you know who you are:)  KK is someone who can say it like it is.  I am blessed to have a few good gal pals like this.  We all need them.  I hope you have one.  She helped me to see that I was equating texting with car accidents and car accidents with painful losses in my life.  I was absolutely consumed in fear for my loved ones lives!  Her prayer helped me to get up into Jesus' lap and rest!   Boom! The Lord obliterated the heaviness on my chest and I repented of fear and, consequently, the anger.  

Thus, you have been privy to yet another emotional saga in the life of Me.  Hope it was a blessing and not a trial!  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 32! Officially!

I guess it is legally the next day, since it is after midnight.  I can't sleep. It is cold and icy out! I keep hoping for snow, but Jack and Billy fly out tomorrow morning, if all is well.  I know they are eager to get to OKC, OK for the scouting trip.  We are planning an Atmosphere of Heaven conference there.  It is so exciting.  We know that God has something awesome planned for that area.  Please pray for these guys a safe travel.

It is hard to believe this fast is almost over.  I hope we continue to stay in contact with the many who have joined us on the internet.  Amazing people, all!  So many burn with passion to see the church awaken and the Kingdom of God advance.  Compassion for the hurting has been poured out through prayer requests.  What a blessing to be able to share the needs and the victories that have been realized through the power of corporate prayer and fasting!

We have been doing a Daniel Fast for the last few days.  It is so hard to stay on just water when it is so cold outside!  Jack and I were cranking the heater up to 78 degrees!  I think we may have been single-handedly responsible for the rolling black-outs!   I really want to get back on just water (yes, and coffee)  for the remainder of the fast.  There is a deep calling to deep kind of experience with that.  I would appreciate your prayers in my endeavor.

For those of you in Northern climates, I salute you!  This has been a truly record making winter!  I hope you are all warm and blessed.  Make a snow man for us!  Or at least a snow angel!

As we continue on in this fast, let our chief aim be to minister to the Lord.  I would love to hear from you any revelation you may have on ministering to the Lord.  Blessings dear ones, Anna Marie

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 31! Shout yeah with me somebody!!

Wow! We had an awesome day at the Christ Healing Center!  Some wonderful folks from Houston, TX came to bring us into a greater revelation of the Kingdom of God!  We were able to stream it live on  The messages will be archived. I don't know when, but it will definitely be worth watching for!  Some of it was posted to FB in the "A Call to Fast" group. Check it out!
Our beautiful team has been fasting with us and we are definitely breaking through to a new level of Glory!  God's glory is abiding with us and healing power is going out into the very atmosphere.
We had healing of spirit, soul and body tonight. We are just having so much joy!! Wish all of you could have been there.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 29! Holy Cow!

Funny expression, Holy Cow.  Do you ever find yourself in a normal conversation using usual idioms and suddenly stop, and think about what the words actually mean?  Sometimes that happens to me and I end up on a treasure hunt through the dictionary.  So many words I use totally incorrectly! I crack myself up!! Sad, isn't it, how easily I am entertained? Tee Hee!
Holy Cow! An expression of surprise.  I am sure it has an origin as a euphemism for Holy Christ.  But think about sacred cows. We say that about things we believe to be absolute truth even if they are not. So am I speaking that into the atmosphere when I say it?  This blog is making absolutely no sense! Holy Cow!
I think I better get back to the Word!