Encouraging, uplifting , positive thoughts rooted in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Deluge!

[Personal note:  Thank you for your patience over the last few months.  I resolved not to blog out of 'duty' and lately I had to give myself permission to miss posting without feeling guilty.   God bless you as you read. May you experience showers of blessings today! ]

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.   As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,  so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:9-11

While driving one day, I noticed what appeared to be dust coming rapidly towards me.  I contemplated pulling over, but before I could make a decision, my thoughts were shattered by the sound of heavy raindrops on the roof of the car.  At that point, I realized I had to pull over as visibility was now  very low,  but in a matter of seconds I had driven through the sheet of rain, and was now on the other side with not so much as a drop of water on the road surface!

In relating my puzzling experience to a friend, it occurred to me how much this situation represents what often happens in our lives. We often come across intense situations that take us by surprise, but soon they are over and we walk on to new experiences.  Sometimes the deluge is painful and hard to bear, but at other times, we partake in intense showers of blessings that we wish would last forever.  As we endure the showers for gain or pain, we are often so caught up in the moment that we are not always aware of how quickly these showers pass, yet the showers will not end until their purpose is achieved.

Thunderstorms are said to occur when the air gets very hot, or very cold. The showers appear at times to be inconvenient, but they serve the purpose of stabilizing the atmosphere.  God’s thoughts are higher than ours. We may not always understand the reason behind the sudden changes around us, but we can rest in the knowledge that no experience is wasted, and that our times and seasons are still in His hands.

Inventory/Introspection:  Do I find it easy to depend on God to walk me through the sudden downpours?

Personal Application:  I may not always know whether joy or pain await me, but I have the assurance that times and seasons are in my Father’s hands, and that He will be with me each step of the way.

Father, we are grateful that Your plans are perfect! Rain is necessary for growth and life, but too much or too little rain can have devastating effects.  Help us to be mindful of the times and seasons, and to trust that You have our best interest at heart whether You send showers of rain or allow intervals of pain. We trust Your hand.

Your Word says we should give thanks for everything  (Ephesians 5:15-20). We are thankful for the times when the storms pass quickly, and we barely catch a glimpse of them in our rear-view mirrors. We are also thankful for the times when You cause the storms to linger a while, because we know You are with us, and You will never leave us to walk alone. We trust Your guidance.

Help us to see You in our circumstances and to live knowing that You are more than able to see us through whatever we come across.  As You make the changes necessary to stabilize our situations, may we be quick to surrender our will to You and to give You the glory and praise, regardless. We trust Your love.

Amen

Blessings,

ann

 

Toni R  (c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

 

 

 

 

Blessed Be Your Name?

1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. ..

18 – 22 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.

In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.   Job 1 -22

Job is often cited when we face difficult situations. The Bible says “Job was blameless and upright”, yet Job lived through one of  the most painful experiences as recorded in the Bible.  Losing his children was the last in a series of disasters, yet the Bible records that Job’s response was to worship!  Despite  all he endured, Job maintained that his “Redeemer lives”, and he lived in expectation that God would deliver him.

When we are in the midst of joy and prosperity, it is easy to sing “Blessed be Your name.”  In the midst of our awful trials and life-altering testings, we don’t always want to hear that “God is in control”, or ‘God knows best”, and that we should give thanks in and for everything.  Our natural inclination is often to go with our feelings, instead of willing ourselves to look at our situation from God’s perspective …

It is often easier for us to believe for others than it is to believe for ourselves. Perhaps today you are in a low place and you need someone to believe for you. Perhaps you are on the mountaintop and celebrating what God has done in your life. Wherever we are today, our awesome, amazing God is standing right beside us.  May we never forget this when life changes come, and may we always remember “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Inventory/Introspection: How can my daily living demonstrate my belief that  “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord” ?

Personal Application:  I will trust God with my circumstances, believing that “blessed be the name of the Lord” can become my automatic response in any situation.

Father, You are all we need – even though we don’t always know it! We are thankful that nothing in our lives is an accident or a mistake, and that we never come across anything that You are not aware of! Blessed be Your name!

Life sometimes goes in a direction we did not anticipate, and often we don’t understand where we need to go, but we are thankful that we can place our lives in Your hands, knowing that You have it all under control. Blessed be Your name!

Job  rested in the knowledge  that nothing gets by You. May we know and understand that You are the same God that visited Job , and the comfort that You gave to Him is available to us. We will rest in Your peace.  Blessed be Your name!!

It is so much easier to praise You when life is great and plans are unfolding as we desire.  At other times, not so much… Today we stand alongside those who have lost and are in pain, and we celebrate the good that You have done in their lives. We are thankful that whatever You do is done in love, and we do declare “ Blessed be Your name!!

 

Amen

Blessings,

ann

 

Toni R

(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

 

 

Of Wandering Wildlife and Displaced Demons

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” St Luke 11 : 24-26

A qualified wildlife expert explained that it is very hard to keep certain homes free of squirrels in the attic. He explained that squirrels develop a strong attachment to their home, and even when they are driven out, or physically removed from their home, they are quite capable of finding their way back to what is familiar and comfortable.  He explained that the best way to keep squirrels out is to install a one-way door so that once the squirrels leave, they are unable to re-enter their nesting area. They may  move-on and try to find somewhere else to live, but every now and then, they will check back to see if their old home is still available.  We may not be able to stop them from checking, but we can make sure there is no way for them to get back inside.

In St. Luke 11: 14-28  Jesus drove out the demon from a man who was mute, and left us a few pointers as to how we can keep our lives clean.  Jesus explained that when an evil spirit has been driven out, it goes through dry places trying to find somewhere else to rest. Having not found a place, “impure spirit” will return to its old house – with company “more wicked” than itself, placing the individual in a worse position than its previous state.  We may not be able to stop impure spirits from checking for vacancy, but if we allow God to fill our hearts and lives, then we certainly leave no room for them to return.

What is the state of our house today? Is the Holy Spirit fully in-charge? Or have we left doors and windows open to attract undesirable company?

Inventory/Introspection: Is God’s seal evident in my heart?

Personal Application:  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ( Galatians 5:21)

Father, we are so thankful for Calvary and the Path to Salvation. We are grateful that you offer us the opportunity of Eternal Life, and we do not take it for granted!

We ask that You would walk through our lives today. We pray that You would fix all the cracks and holes in our hearts that may provide a foothold for the enemy. May our lives bring You glory as we live as those who have been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. May we choose to be set-apart as You have called us.

We are thankful that nothing that we do can ever take  Your love away from us, but may we always remember the sacrifice that  Jesus gave to make us your sons and daughters.

May you be the sole occupant of our hearts.

Amen

Blessings,

ann

Toni R

(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

My Tribute (To God Be The Glory!)

You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever. (Psalm 30:11-12. NIV)

Three years ago, today, my sisters pushed me to start a blog…  

Today also marks the completion of my most recent academic journey.

There is much that could be said, but for now, I just want to thank you for having walked thus far with me; and to give all glory, honour and praise to the Most High! To God alone be all the glory.

Blessings

ann

 

Jesus is Alive!! (Mini Post)

Jesus Christ is Risen! (He is risen indeed)

St John 20 V-18 gives us a snapshot of conversations and events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection.  We serve a risen King! What a wonderful and marvelous joy!!

May the Risen Christ be visible in our hearts and lives today and always.

Happy Easter to you and yours.

Ann:

Hello Friends
The next seven weeks will be crucial for me as I close off this final semester. I may not be able to share a new post every week, but I will do my best! Here is an entry I shared in June 2010. May God bless you as you read.
Faithfully His,
ann

Originally posted on Tonirand's Blog:

Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals,  praise Him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150 – New International Version

I did not leap out of bed giving glory and praise to God this morning. As a matter of fact, I didn’t want to get out of bed at all. I felt today would have been a perfect stay-in-bed-and-do-nothing day. I slept through the alarm,  woke up on my own, got out of bed on my own yet never contemplated Psalm 150 for a moment.

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Our Bodies – A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

For most of my Christian life, I have heard Romans 12:1-1 taught from a position of sexual purity, but today God opened my eyes to another view. As we contemplate sacrifices and the importance of presenting sacrifices that are without blemish, let us think in terms of how we can make decisions that can make our sacrifices less than pleasing to God.

According to Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance, the word for sacrifice in Romans 12:1 is thusia, and in this context it means “of service, obedience, praise offered to God, an offering, oblation (offering to God)”. For many of us who are in ministry, we often take on and do as much as we can for the Kingdom of God. We often wholeheartedly serve in different ministry areas, yet we hardly plan for time-off to physically rest and rejuvenate the bodies that He has given us – the same bodies that we are to present ‘holy and pleasing to God’.

I have been told that in any organization, there are always three types of individuals:

  1.   Those who always take on more than their fair share of work,
  2.   Those who will do just enough to get by.
  3.   Those who can be counted on to ‘pick-up the slack’ where others fall short

It is not uncommon to find these individuals in churches.

Our entire bodies are to be presented to God – our entire bodies and all we do whether we sleep, eat, rest, work … whatever we do needs to be a living sacrifice. There is no doubt that there is much to be done, especially in these last days. Sometimes it is hard to walk away, but are we doing the right thing when we overcommit and under-rest? If we are tired and worn-out from doing what we believe to be the work of God, are we able to offer ‘true and proper worship’?

Sometimes a simple ‘I am sorry, but I cannot take this on’, will leave more room in our day to spend time with our Papa, or simply to rest. While we acknowledge that God is more than able to sustain us through what He has called us to do, we also acknowledge that God Himself rested. Jesus told us to come and rest in Him. Rest is important in the life of a Christian.

May God grant us clear revelation so we know when to step forward.  May He also give us the wisdom and understanding to know when to step back and allow others to move forward, and may we find peace in the moments we choose to let go.

What God has ordained must be fulfilled – we need not worry that if we can’t do what needs to be done, then it won’t be done at all.

We are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices. We are not to conform to the expectations of the world, but to experience transformation that comes from having our minds renewed, then (we) “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. When we know His will we can walk in His will, accomplishing what He has called us to do with the bodies He has given us.

Inventory / Introspection: How can I make sure my body is always presented to God as a living sacrifice? 

Personal Application:  Scheduling time away from ‘frontline’ ministry does not mean I am not offering a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.

Dear Father, we give you thanks for the bodies you have given to us. We know that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made!’

We confess that we don’t often treat our bodies the way we should. Please forgive us for the times we have neglected meaningful rest and meals and other ‘transgressions’ as we hurry about doing what we understand needs to be taken care of.  Help us to honestly weigh our schedules, and to make the right decisions when work needs to be done.

Eating well, resting well, and working smart are ways in which we can keep our bodies in ‘living sacrifice’ mode. Help us to make the decisions that enable us to offer worship that would give You the greatest glory.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann


Toni R
(c)
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  


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