Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Do You Want Everything?

1 Corinthians 4:7  NKJV
...And what do you have that you did not receive?...

The other day, my husband, Jack,  was sharing a testimony about how he received an impartation from an older man in the Faith. It was a spiritual gift of healing that this man had received from God.  It was one of those unusual God moments.  The man knocked on our door, out of the blue. He was weeping in the Spirit of God, and he asked Jack for his hands. As he laid his hands in Jack's hands, he told Jack God had sent him to impart the gift of healing that he had been given from the Lord.  He did, and then he left. 

As Jack was talking, I thought of the decades that have passed since that day.  I began to think about the measure of the gifting that our dear old friend had so freely given, and how long it had taken to be completely activated in our ministry.  Suddenly, the Holy Spirit highlighted "what do you have that you did not receive..." with the emphasis on "have" and "not."  Now, I recognize that Paul was  exhorting us not to be prideful in our gifts, because that is exactly what they are, gifts.  But God was reminding me, in that moment,  that we have treasures upon treasures of gifts from our Heavenly Poppa that are our beyond measure!! What do we have waiting for us to open and use that we have not received? 

I went back to the root of the word receive. It comes from re- and capere to take, seize.  Re- signifies doing something again, or anew.  When we receive these gifts from God, we are actually taking back what was originally ours, in the Garden, before the enemy stole them from us.  Jesus was beaten and was crucified to restore us, in everything and every way, to God!

What keeps us from receiving everything Jesus already gave us?

It is ignorance, lies, and shame.

Friends, let us cast these aside and press in to the fullness of Christ!  Let's come alongside each other and help each other to be healed, and to learn truth, and to grow into the full stature of our dear Lord and Savior! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pesky Parasites!

I have to laugh.  Jack and I just returned from a wonderful International Order of St. Luke the Physician healing conference in New Zealand. We saw some powerful healings and felt the glory of God round about us.  I then spent the next three days in bed, sick with flu-like symptoms.  Turns out I had parasites! Within one hour of taking a doctor prescribed dose of turpentine, I was almost one hundred percent better!  Oh the irony!

Parasites are much more pervasive than people realize.  The little buggers are everywhere, and very frequently misdiagnosed.  I am truly grateful for a doctor that was raised in the country and knows how common they are.  I could have been put on all kinds of antibiotics that would not have done anything to solve the problem, and actually exacerbated it. 

As I have been pondering why this happened to me, again, (happened after S. Africa trip, too) I realized that I did not bless and thank God for everything I ate.  We blessed the food at our meals, but I was snacking on fruit throughout the day, without even giving it another thought.

Jesus always gave thanks for the food he ate, and recognized that it came from His Heavenly Father.  I am thinking that thanking God in this way is becoming more and more important in our time of GMO's and pesticides and God only knows what other health destroying thing are being added to our food supply. I want to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness, especially as it applies to the food and drink He supplies.

I totally believe God when He tells us in His Word that we can
 drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.   Mark 16:18 ASV

The key for me, is to walk in faith and be thankful.  We have another overseas trip coming up.  I will let you know how it goes! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Virtuous Women, United!

Recently, my friend Nora invited me to Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, here in San Antonio, to hear nine decades of wisdom from nine lovely women. They were asked to review the prior ten years of their lives, and tell us what they knew now that they wished they had known then.  It was inspiring!

I'd like to share the nuggets I came away with.

First, from the 17 year old high-school senior:  God is there!  (Psalm 139:7-10)

Next, from the 20-something: Seek God's approval, not man's!  (Galatians 1:10)

Thirdly from the 30-something: God uses all our struggles for good. We can laugh without fear of the future! (Proverbs 31: 25)

Fourthly from the 40-something:  Daddy God feels the same about me as I do my kids!  He delights in ME!   (Zephaniah 3:17)

From the 50-something:  Change is coming - Don't fear it!  The one constant is your identity in Christ! Practice trusting Him in the small things.  Love more, worry less! Relationships over rules!
(Matthew 6:25-34)

60-something:  I do not know as much as I think I do!  But this I do know: God loves me, just the way I am!  Be intentional with God.  God will get you through it!  Choose joy! (Isaiah 41:10)

70-something:  Be thankful!  Appreciate God's timing, not ours! (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

80-something:  Time is a valuable commodity. Less worry,confusion, fear; these are by-products of search for Peace.  Be a better listener! (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

And from the 90+ treasure: 
Give words of encouragement to others.  The blessings of old age:  Time with the Lord which seemed limited in earlier years, is not limited in later years.  There is more time to respond to the needs of children and more time to be involved.  To those who are married: Focus on husband after nest is empty.  Enjoy each other. Congratulate him on his successes!  Stay on the same page with family after grand-kids arrive.  (Proverbs 31:10-31)

For those with daughters-in-law: Laugh with them!

For those with sons-in-law: Keep your distance! (Laughter ensued!)

For married sons: Let him be the husband first!

For those with grandchildren: Stay in touch!

And finally, "God is good, as I told Him this morning!"

More wisdom from all the women:
For married women:  Don't forget what connected you to your husband.
Prefer one another.
It's a partnership. I am not always right!

Be open and allow each other to be who they are.


There will be peaks and valleys.  Enjoy the peaks, and when you are in the valley remember there is a peak coming!  (Psalm 23)

For those in High School:  Find your passion.  Learn the hard part: Trust in God!

I would like to add that I took the 90+ year old's advice and congratulated my husband on his successes.  I wish you could have seen his face light up!  I asked him how it made him feel. He said, "Encouraged, affirmed and confirmed. It felt good! Do it more!"  LOL, I believe I will!

Thanks, Ladies!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Thoughts on Loving Others...Are We Approachable?

John 15:12 NKJV
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

This commandment has me meditating and meditating.  What does it mean to love others as Jesus loved me?  Today, as I was pumpin' iron at the gym, I was thinking about this Word from Jesus.

"How do I do this, Lord? "

"Be approachable, as I am approachable." was the whisper in my head.

How do we come across to others?  Do they feel free to engage us?

I started thinking about approachability.   Who do I feel the safest approaching to ask for directions when I am lost?  It is the person who looks me in the eye and smiles.  They welcome interaction with their warmth.

Have you ever met a stranger who was approachable? This person welcomed you into a conversation, valued your input, made you feel like their new best friend?  You felt all warm and fuzzy, and as you walked off with someone else saying what a lovely person that was, you found out they were famous?

That happened to me.  I was privileged to meet the woman who helped start the National Alliance, an organization to end homelessness in Washington, and wife of a former White House Chief of Staff.  She was totally approachable. We talked, prayed together, laughed together, and I wanted to get to know her better!  I remember being so glad afterwards that I did not know who she was at the time, because I would have been tongue tied!

I know Jesus was like that.  He did not announce who He was.  He welcomed those who came to Him, as if coming into His presence was the most natural, familiar thing in the world.  It says in many places that Jesus looked at them. The transliterated Greek word for 'looked,' in these moments is Horaro.  One of its meanings is actually to see, i.e. to become acquainted with by experience.

He engaged with those who approached Him in such a way they experienced Him.  His disciples felt no resistance in entering into a relationship with Him.  He did not announce, "I Am God! Follow Me!"

Rather, He welcomed all who came to enter into a relationship with Him, in whatever degree they were able. It was after this He was able to be revealed as the great I AM.  

So today, I want to be intentional to be approachable; to really look at others around me in such a way they feel welcomed, recognized, known. Hopefully, they will feel drawn to get to know Jesus, too.   This will be my act of love for others.

Join me?  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Can We Love Others the Way Jesus Loved Us?

John 15:12 NKJV
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

I have been pondering some of the ways Jesus loved His disciples. (We are His disciples if we follow Him) 
How did He love us, and how can I walk this out daily? 

I want to spend some time meditating on this. Today's thoughts are these:

  •  Jesus was completely submitted to Father God. He faithfully revealed the love of the Father in such a way that He equipped His disciples to continue His redeeming Kingdom life. His love brought them up to His level! 
  •  His love was completely selfless. His yoke was connected to the Father. He offers His yoke to us! A yoke is only used for work. As we go, we are to demonstrate the love of the Father to those around us. If we are yoked to Him, He takes the lead and knows the intended "field" to plow. 
If we take His yoke upon us and bear it without resistance, the fruit of the Spirit would be ripe and plentiful in our going. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control would be available to those who are placed in our path. 

If we take His yoke upon us and bear it without resistance, the gifts of the Spirit would be manifest when needed. Words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues would be activated as needed to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to the earth. 

Today I choose to bear His yoke without resistance. I want to reveal the love of the Father to those around me and in doing so, equip them to do the same. As He raises me up to His level, I want to raise others up to that level as well. 

Today I choose to let the Father take the lead for our path. As I am willing to go, He is willing to be revealed! 

Father, in Jesus' precious name I choose You and Your love. Teach me how to reveal You to those we meet! 

Blessings, Anna Marie

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Forgiveness, shall we?

Matthew 6:14-15  The Message

"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part."  ~ Jesus

This past week someone hurled poisonous darts at me with his eyes and tongue.  Even though I knew this person has serious issues, something rose up in me (I believe it's called the Flesh) and I saw myself as Squire Will Danaher (The Quiet Man) taking out my little black book, writing this person's name in it and then scratching it out in determination.

I even dedicated my magnetic refrigerator words to this cad. "The screaming purple monkey's tongue aches!"  (Yeah, I know...)

My husband, Jack, reminded me that we have to pray for this soul.  My response, "I will not waste my breath! I will ask God to bless him, but God knows I won't like it!" 

Fast forward: Sunday morning, sitting in church, communion time is approaching. Repentance hits me, I lean over to Jack and say, "I guess I have to forgive him?"  Jack just smiles. So I did, and asked the Lord to forgive me for taking offense and being unwilling to pray for this person.  I asked Him to bless him and heal him.

Immediately, God downloaded a love for this person. I started laughing and Jack looks at me questioningly.  "I just forgave ... and God gave me a love for him"

I could not quit giggling. I did my part and God did His!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Is the Fruit of Our Lips Singing Praise?

Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Are You on Your Journey?

Deuteronomy 1:29-33  The Message
 (Moses speaking) I tried to relieve your fears: "Don't be terrified of them. GOD, your God, is leading the way; he's fighting for you. You saw with your own eyes what he did for you in Egypt; you saw what he did in the wilderness, how GOD, your God, carried you as a father carries his child, carried you the whole way until you arrived here. But now that you're here, you won't trust GOD, your God--this same GOD who goes ahead of you in your travels to scout out a place to pitch camp, a fire by night and a cloud by day to show you the way to go."

2013 marks the 40th year of my journey with the Lord Jesus Christ.  My husband and I have witnessed extraordinary exploits and extreme tenderness of our God in His people. He has led us through the valley of the shadow of death to the glory-covered mountain peaks of joy and has never left us alone.  And yet, if honesty must speak, I still have my moments of doubt, despair and grumbling.

How can this be?  I can only say, I live in the world that is broken and hurting, as well as in the kingdom of God.  I have to choose every day, every moment which reality I will walk in.

This morning I am rejoicing in knowing that my choice more often than not is the kingdom of God. And when I choose poorly, I have brothers and sisters who help me up.  As I am approaching the end of my 5th decade of life, I have been recognizing a peace that I know comes only through living and experiencing the journey.   My heart is over-flowing with love towards you, my fellowman. You have walked with me on this journey.  You have been Christ with skin on for me. And even if you hurt me, I learned humility through the pain, so, thank you.

If today was my last day in this world, I would want to leave behind this exhortation. Never give up; choose this day to live for Him.  Rejoice in Him!  He will be with you to the end!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Do You Cherish Your Goodbyes?

L to R: Steve, George, Hal and Tom
45 years ago my life changed forever.  I can remember the day of the accident that took my brother's life in detail.  The sky was the color of Texas bluebonnets. Azaleas bloomed on every street. Birds were busy singing to attract a mate.  It was the perfect day.

 Hal drove up beside me in our little beige Volkswagen convertible, top down, his friend, Royal, by his side.
"Hey Sis!  You want a ride home?"  His brown wavy hair was windblown, and he was grinning at me as he used to do.  "What a day!"
"No thanks." I replied. "It's so pretty out, I think I'll walk..."
And that was the last time we ever spoke.

Hal was kind, and funny.  He played the drums like Gene Krupa reincarnated.  Even as a tiny girl, he made me feel safe.  As a young boy,  he and my dad hacked their way through the Amazon jungle with machetes, to check out a gold mine my dad had invested in.  He was fearless.

His untimely death taught me many things. But the one that means the most to me this morning is how important our partings can be.  I try to remember that every goodbye could be my last. We don't have any guarantees.  I hope my loved ones will never forget how much they are loved by me.

Today, when you kiss your family and friends goodbye or goodnight, remember it could be the last time you see them.  Let your love shine over them.

 Psm 39:4 RSV
"LORD, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is!

Miss you, Hal.
Love forever, Your Sis

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Need a Smile Break?

John 10:2-4  The Message
The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice.

I have been suffering under severe writer's block for the past month. Has anyone else ever felt like you have nothing to add, of any consequence, to a conversation?  That's what it has felt like. All my thoughts just seem so trite or worn out.  I want FRESH revelation from my Pappa God!  I am desperate to hear His voice, moment by moment!

Last week at Christ Healing Center, our team decided, once again, to take the prayer ministry out of the four walls and do a "Treasure Hunt."  We learned about this from Kevin Dedman in his awesome book, The Ultimate Treasure Hunt. I highly recommend it!

What we did was come together and time ourselves for three minutes. We all listened to our hearts for clues from God (words of knowledge) about people we would find as we went. We listened for
1. a place
2. a name
3. something about their appearance
4. something about their condition and
5. anything that is odd or unusual.
We wrote down what we got and those papers became our treasure maps; then we broke up into groups of three and went out.

It is always a blast doing this.  God shows up and people's lives are touched  powerfully.  But I want to share something that bounced back and blessed me.

During our listening drill,  I heard three names, boom, boom boom: Barb, James and Troy.  (There were other items as well, and we found the beloveds the clues were for and they were healed! PTL!)
The reason these names meant so much is I have been asking and asking God to hear His voice more clearly.  These names proved to me I was!

As we were on our treasure hunt, we were getting ready to cross the road at a light in downtown San Antonio.  There was a bus stop on the corner, and seated waiting for the bus were three people.  They caught my eye. I walked over and asked if any of them were named Barb, James or Troy.

Two of them shook their heads no, but the third, a woman, piped up, "I was just thinking of Barb, James and Troy!"  Astonishment ensued.

I showed her my "treasure map" with the names written down and explained what we were doing. I asked her if they needed prayer.  She said, "Yes, that's why I was just thinking of them. Troy needs a job, James is on drugs and Barb is so sad!"

Just then, the bus arrived.  She said, "I have to go, but please pray for them, and me too!!!"  And off she ran, smiling and giving thumbs up to the three of us.

So we stood there on the street corner and prayed.  It was so much fun!

But this is why I was blessed: I realized the manner in which I heard God's voice was in my thoughts, and through following a prompting. It was Him in me.  I never ceased to be amazed when I have revelation from the Lord.

I remember a line from the movie, Chariots of Fire, when Eric Liddell told his sister, "When I run, I feel His good pleasure."  What I experience more and more frequently, is God's "good pleasure."  It is becoming the barometer to measure what I hear and do as: God? or not God?  I live more intentionally attentive, moment by moment.  It is not easy.  I am a person who is very easily distracted!  But the wonderful result, in the days since we went out, is JOY.  It is almost bubbling out of me. 

So, thanks for listening to my ramblings...hope you are smiling!