how to handle disappointment…

I am re-posting this one from last year, just in case someone out there really needs it.  As I read through status updates and have conversations with friends, I think it might be relevant.

Love, Anna

With teary eyes, I sat down with 2 upbeat kids to read them their bedtime story.  Generally, I am a kid person, and have a high value for engaging with them.  This night I was struggling to get to 7:30 bedtime.  I was quite relieved when the 3 year old insisted I play mermaids and sharks with her, only because it required getting into the bed and pulling the covers over my head.  The mercy of God can come in such strange ways.

The little boy handed me a comic Bible.  I told him to pick “one” story from the book.  I am not a first-timer here.  He chose 2 Samuel 12.  It is the story of David and Bathsheba’s first child.  Every kids favorite Bible story right?

Ha ha, I love my life.

As I swallowed huge lumps in my throat asking God to hold back my tears for another 10 minutes until I shut their door, He spoke to me through this comic Bible story.

The story begins with Samuel telling David a story.  The story is about a rich man who steals a very poor man’s sheep.  David becomes furious and demands that man be punished, the wise Samuel quickly informs him that he is that man.  He stole Uriah’s wife and killed him.  Samuel goes on to tell David that this sin will cost him the life of his first son with Bathsheba.

David repents, refuses to eat, and storms the gates of heaven with prayers for his infant son who soon became sick.

One week later, the child passes away.

The servants lurk in the corners of the room afraid to tell him the news.  Let’s picture David in the moment.  He has not eaten, he has not shaved or showered, and probably hasn’t slept much either.  I think I’d be a little afraid too, of the scent if nothing less.

David sees them and he bluntly asked, “is the child dead?”.  When they reply that indeed the child has passed, he gets up, eats, takes a shower and goes to the house of the Lord and he worships.

I want to stop here for a moment, because this fascinates me.  Here’s a few reasons why…

1. David believed in God’s goodness enough to cry out for the desire of his heart.

2. He repented, but chose not to walk in condemnation for his sin.

3. He didn’t change his view of God’s character when he didn’t get what he asked for.

4. He still believed God was good and worthy to be worshipped.

5. Instead of doubting, asking questions or walking in shame, he worshipped.

6. He focused his attention on the Lord rather than the emotions he felt.

I can’t help but be challenged by David at this moment.  Are these perhaps some of the reasons that he is the “man after God’s heart”?

What are my responses to disappointment?

Do I make a theology out of what happened to me?

Do I still believe He is good all the time?

Do I value worshipping Him above how I feel?

The story has an interesting and happy ending that I think isn’t coincidence, but God’s response to the pure heart of David.

David went to comfort Bathsheba, and she became pregnant again.  They had Solomon a man of peace, who “God loved”.

We’ve all experienced sin and disappointment in walking on this earth, can I ask you today how you handle yours?

Is there anything you can learn from David?

As we look to the new year, let’s focus on the keys we learned from David rather than our emotions or disappointment.

For we have a great promise that “He works all things together for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).

Happy New Year!

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What God’s Word Says About Marriage

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Today I am posting a guest essay written by husband.  I’ll give you a bit of background on this for it’s a story worth retelling.  I am the baby of four kids, and have a southern dad who takes his role as protector with utmost seriousness.  So when I came home in June and introduced him to the man I wanted to marry he had some “requirements” so to speak.

Chuck and dad went out for breakfast and he let dad know his intentions with me.  While they were away I shared the girly version of our story with mom.  She loved it.  So when dad came in and stated that he was requiring Chuck to

A. List out the ten reasons why he wanted to marry me,

B. Write a biblical one page essay on his view of marriage,

before dad would give his blessing.  We giggled a little.  It seemed a bit intense in the moment, but now I find it quite endearing.  I have a dad who knows my value, and wanted to make sure this man knew it as well!  I have a great dad.

Thankfully, I have a great man as well who was more than willing to comply.

Chuck used the ten reasons he wanted me to be his wife in his proposal.  (Yep, it paid off for him as well!)

BUT, I didn’t read his essay till this morning, and thought it’d be fun to share with you as well.  So here it is…

What God’s Word Says About Marriage 

by Chuck Maher

“We live in an age where much of the western world has devalued the covenant of marriage, deeming it less than sacred. To many, it is an old fashioned formality at best. However, those who hold fast to the sacred scriptures and believe The Bible to be the perfect, divinely inspired word of God, marriage is part of God’s perfect plan for mankind. Marriage is one of God’s gifts to humanity.

After God created the first man He said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18, NKJV). God did so by taking one of Adam’s ribs from him and using that rib to create women (see Genesis 2:21-22). When God presented the women to Adam he said, “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of man” (vs 23). The Bible goes on to say, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (vs 24). When a man and women become married, they are no longer two, but the two have become one.

God’s covenant of marriage is not to be taken lightly. When a man and women get married, they should remember that they are not only making a commitment before people, but also before God Himself. Marriage is a joining together of a man and women for as long as they both shall live. And divorce is not God’s desire for any married couple (See Matthew 19:4-6). Therefore, lifelong commitment to each other is vital to every married couple. God also desires that marriage is the environment in which children are raised (see Malachi 2:14-15).

For Christians, God’s instruction is that believers only be married to another believer. If a Christian marries an unbeliever they become what the Bible calls “unequally yoked” (see 2 Corinthians 6:14). And man is to have only one wife, and a women one husband. The Bible also teaches that marriage is meant to be between a man and women only, and never between those of the same sex (see 1 Cor.6:9-10, Leviticus 18:22). This should be obvious by the fact that it takes a man and a women to procreate. Same sex marriage is both unnatural and unbiblical.

Marriage is sacred and holy, but it is also a gift that’s meant to be enjoyed. It is a union that’s designed to benefit us spiritually, emotionally and physically. And romance is a very important part of marriage (see Song of Solomon). Marriage is so close to the Lord’s heart that he used it as a picture to describe Christ’s relationship with His church (see Ephesians 5:22-33). In the same way that Christ is the head of the church, the husband is meant to lead in the marriage relationship. And, the wife is called to submit to her husband (see Ephesians 5:23-24). However, this only works properly when husbands love their wives with the same sacrificial love that Christ has for the church (see vs 25).”

In case you are wondering, dad has now fully embraced Chuck.  We knew this for certain when they were at my dad’s tree farm in August and he started calling him “Chucker”.

One thing I’ve learned is that marriage is a transition for everyone in the family, not just us. It’s been a bit of an unexpected journey, but it’s moving forward, and worth it all.

I hope this blesses you today!

 

2012 in pictures!

A year in review…

January, I went on a trip with Steve Backlund to Casper, WY.  It was a great trip, the only downside, Daniel and I had to spend the night in the Denver airport, because we missed our last flight…

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Then late January to early February I went to the Toronto area with 3 good friends.  We laughed until our stomachs hurt on many occasions.

ImageImageOn the way home, my “friend” Chuck shared with me some of his dreams and desires.  My eyes filled with tears as the things he shared were like pages out of my journal, word for word.  (more on that later)

Then there was San Diego-Image

In late March-early April, I led an amazing team of revivalists to Croatia with my “friend” Chuck.  We saw loads of salvations in both Bosnia and Croatia.

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oh yeah and we went to VENICE on our day off…

ImageApril was my 28th birthday, here’s pics from a skype with some of my all-time favs-ImageAnd Chuck and I became official…

Imageour first picture. 🙂 on the river trail over looking the sacramento river. awe.

May was a visit from the always wonderful Layne Beckner Grime.

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and then the dream team re-united for Trinidad-

ImageThose two are engaged now! Yay for Mel and Chris!ImageThen in June, home to Texas for a visit and for Chuck to meet the fam.

Image(we drove by my childhood home)

in July I flew to Canada to meet Chuck’s family-

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and then on prince edward island on 7.7…ImageImagewe got engaged!!!

in August,

another visit to Texas, family and wedding planning.Image

Imagea visit to seattle to meet the brewsters and kornaros’

ImageSeptember was back to Wyoming-

Imageincluding a trip to Yellowstone with Pat and Fred!Imageand lots of wedding planning.

ImageAnd October was we bought a house!!

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oh and wedding month in Texas-Image

just had to include this one. have you ever seen a cuter coffee date?!

ImageImageImagepainting pumpkins, and making icing

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getting nails done.

Then best day ever!!!!ImageImage

Imageoff to St. Thomas for the honeymoon.

ImageThat brings us to November, when the book that I got to be a contributing author, Higher Perspectives, came out.  Such a dream come true, I love writing.

ImageThat brings us to December!  This month I did some nannying…

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he said we do “team work” & I said ok!ImageAnd we ministered on the North coast of California and here in Texas, and now we are celebrating Christmas with our Texas family!

ImageAnd NOW I understand why I am so tired.  I think I’ll sleep right on through January!

Thanks for listening and looking. 🙂

Can’t wait to see what 2013 holds!

I am so thankful for the dreams that came true this year!  God is so good.  I got to help write a book, get married, and buy a house!

the hope of glory

Chuck and I began our trip to Texas at a church we love in Austin, TX.  Since we got married, we have traveled to four different churches, and I have been in more of the supporting from the front row mode.  

Between applying for Chuck’s green card, work, and getting the hang of home ownership, and bills I didn’t know existed, I didn’t have much energy left to teach.

Alas, the green card’s in the mail, I’ve fallen in love with online bill pay, I know I’m sure I’m a little behind the times, my head is back above water!  Before we went to Austin, I was praying about the church we would be visiting.  I felt that we were to emphasize on the glory, the presence of the Lord.  I scribbled a couple things into my journal and went about my day.

When we got to Austin, Chuck said he was feeling two scriptures that we should preach.  Wouldn’t you know that they were the same scriptures I had written in my journal a few days before?  God is fun. 🙂

We had fun co-preaching, and the Holy Spirit faithfully moved, awaking hearts, and penetrating truth into reality.

But I can’t seem to get over it.  I am stuck on this man Jesus.

I’ve been reading scriptures on this man, and they are coming to life in a new way.  I’ve known Him since I was a four year old girl, or perhaps before then, but his word is alive and active.

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7

What a good reminder that the government is upon his shoulders!

Who doesn’t need a wonderful counselor?

He is mighty, stronger than any force of creation.

He is an everlasting Father, there is no end to the heart of our heavenly Father.

And the Prince of Peace, oh how I need Him, every hour, every moment of my day.

In light of the present day tradegies and disappoints I challenge us to look upon this man of Jesus.  In Him we can find what we need.  

My heart aches with the news reports of innocent lives taken, and I cried yesterday during a st. jude commercial.  It’s not being immune to these things.  They hurt.  Not only our little hearts, but also the heart of our everlasting Father.

And we must find refuge for this pain.  Refuge in the presence of this man Jesus.

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:15-20

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Colossians 1:27

Here’s the really beautiful part, if you are a believer this beautiful man dwells within you.  

We have unlimited access to His presence.  That’s what the resurrection did.  He overcame death so that we could be restored to the everlasting Father.

I pray that every moment on this Christmas season is filled with the awareness of Christ’s presence.