Thursday, October 31, 2013

a little hip hop Hallelujah from Victoria

This world's pollution is no solution to find everlasting love, life, might, sight. We must fight the enemy with Jesus, who redeems us, superseeds us, guarantees us forever. So endeavor to know His love, grow in His life, tow His yoke, for He paid the price to save and gave you a place in His home - acknowledge His throne, He alone is the One, King of Kings. So sing and rejoice, cause He made the choice to restore your rapport with the Father above. Take hold of His love. Don't remain deceived or naive to your sin within but believe, receive, and achieve the new life of Christ from His selfless but not helpless sacrifice. His way is the only path, the only place, the only hope, the only pace to base your identity and find true humility, harmony, serenity, sanity, and credibility in the Name of Jesus. Trust and obey... cause THIS IS THE DAY to live His way!  Word!

Blog Post Written By Victoria Anderson

Saturday, October 26, 2013

enter into the sanctuary

Let's be honest.... the sinful world can sometimes seem so much more appealing. As humans, we are easily mesmerized with all successful and prosperous individuals. We are star-struck by beautiful celebrities that seem to have all the benefits of life at their disposal. We hang onto the advice of talk show personalities as if they had a direct channel into all things spiritual. Just by reading and seeing these people, we envy their power, wealth and status. Whether we like it or not - we are attracted to them, irrespective if they follow Jesus.

This is no accident. Satan is, in fact, an expert at deceit. He can make himself (and those that follow him) appear to be extremely beautiful on the surface. This should come as no surprise since Satan has always tried to convince men that he is greater that God Almighty. Satan is not a red leotard dressed child with horns and a pitchfork. No. Satan is more cunning than that, and his main objective is to snare his prey away as they question the glory of a Holy Creator.

David was quite aware of this in Psalm 73. Listen to how he described his take on the appeal of sinful men and their ways...

"For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance."

But read on. David's longing toward the wicked's false sense of fulfillment quickly dissolved away when he moved past their surface appeal and entered into the sanctuary of the King of Kings.... "When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny."

Of course, scripture is clear that Satan's final destiny is doom and damnation. There is nothing fun or fulfilling about that! So here is the real truth... Surface beauty will fade, success will dwindle, and all things on earth will return to dust one day. We must look past the temporary snares of this world and die to our selfishness. We must seek only what is everlasting to find real satisfaction and fulfillment. God is the only One who can bring true beauty, prosperity...and, yes....fun to our lives for all eternity. He offers us freedom from doom and damnation through the grace of Jesus Christ. God loves us so much, He sent Jesus to save us so that we can glorify and enjoy Him forever... but we must be willing to accept Him. We must daily make the choice to seek Him and ask for His strength as we deny our sinful lusts of the flesh.

Let's remember to follow David's example and enter into the sanctuary of the Most High to see the real truth as we live out our days on earth. Let's breathe in our Mighty God and His Glorious Majesty and not be sidetracked by worldly pleasures that do not fulfill. God is our refuge and we are His people. Don't let the world distract you away from His Glory. He is all that matters... FOREVER!

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.... as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds."

Blessings!

~Victoria

Thursday, October 24, 2013

how long will your lemon drop last?

When I was young, my family seemed to always be traveling somewhere in the car. My father had many health issues, so we were always trekking from point A to point B to get him to doctor appointments and the health care professionals he needed to see. I'm sure all the parents in DW's audience can attest that being in a car with young children for hours on end, day after day, can sometimes test a parent's patience. Because of this, Momba and Daddy were quite ingenious to make up little games and/or challenges for our whole family to participate in and enjoy. One of their games was "How long will your lemon drop last?"

For those of you who don't know, a lemon drop is a sugary, lemon-flavored candy that is typically made to look like a miniature lemon. They are made to be enjoyed as a hard candy and are flavored to either hold a sweet or sour/tart flavor. The kind we would enjoy would be a mixture of sweet/sour inside with an outside coating of sugar. The object of our game would be to suck on a lemon drop for as long as possible while both outlasting all other family members in the sucking process as well as beating the last lemon drop champion's time. (Yes, we'd actually time this activity.)

My brother and I had learned early on that the secret to making our lemon drops last longer was to burrow the treat into our cheeks, keeping it from touching the tongue or the rest of the mouth. That way, saliva would be prevented in hitting the lemon drop, and the hard piece of candy would not "melt" as quickly. Mind you, it wasn't easy... because those lemon drops were TART! Almost too tart to take... whew! Sometimes, we would have to stop and spit them back into their original wrapper - taking a break from the POW... BAM... ZOOM... WHAMO... that the candy promised to deliver.

The game became more of an opportunity for each of us to cheer one another on... pushing each other to stay the course and win the challenge! It was our family against those powerful lemon drops - and we were going to win!!! We'd sing and encourage one another, "You can do it! Keep that lemon drop in your mouth! Keep going! Don't give up!" It was a great way to pass the time in the car while also working as both a team and individual contestant to savor every second of the sweet/sour lemony flavor. Together, if we kept motivating one another, we would all finally see "lemon drop victory" and celebrate with, yes, another lemon drop. Ha ha.

This memory came to mind during my devotions earlier this week. I was being led by the Holy Spirit to think about the importance of encouraging others to surge ahead and claim the victory that Jesus has promised each of us when we follow His call.  You see, we as Christians are called to uplift each other as we live out our own distinct lives. No matter how diverse our backgrounds or situations, we are to remain unified as the body of Christ, encouraging one another to stay the course and run this race until we see the finish line. We are to push each other to advance ahead and pray for one another to avoid sin while seeking what is righteous and holy. We are to love actively... as a family working together... and we are to do this, as God's Church, every single day!

Read some scripture with me...

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:12-14)

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)


Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-24)

Ladies, let's not forget that we are to daily love and relate to one another as we grow in spiritual victory with Jesus. Every Christian is part of God's holy church... a community... a family. Let's remember that we are not alone in His kingdom. Because of this, we should be glorifying His name together... praying together... grieving and hurting together... encouraging together... loving together! In all seasons of this life, we are to work together to promote His goodness! Sure, we may be located apart in the physical sense, but we are not apart spiritually. We are powerful when we are unified as we pray and are led by the Holy Spirit!

We all have a "lemon drop" in this life to suck on. We all must endure the sweet and the sour that comes with every new day. But with the help of our Savior, we are able to live joyfully together as we push one another toward the finish line and claim VICTORY.  No matter how sour or sweet our days may be, let's reach our goal, Ladies! Let's run this race! Let's encourage one another to stay the course! Our reward is Jesus!!!

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let's rejoice...together! Let's be glad... together! Let's find victory in the name of Jesus Christ... together! We are His people... we are His family!

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

Blessings!

~Victoria

Saturday, October 19, 2013

the offense of turning to holiness

Yesterday, I was conversing with friends on how offended people can get when they hear God's Word, and how angry we can become when challenged to actively apply God's commands to our personal lives.

For you see, God is attractive when the thought of Him promotes sunshine and goodness, health and blessings.  But when we are called to obey God... when we are forced to make a hard choice against our own wants and desires and choose to follow His ways over our own... well, that is when the rubber really meets the road, isn't it? That is when we either choose to do what is right or we choose our sin and find offense in God's direction.  Usually when we choose the latter, we end up rationalizing to ourselves that we are victims to a heartless God who has it in for us.  Or rather, we are pawns to a distant God who doesn't understand our particular situation or needs, but still expects us to live just so. Hmm.

I find that many who profess Jesus as Lord like the idea of Jesus being their Savior, but don't actually allow Him to save them from their sin.  They don't actually turn to Him.  Nor do they adopt His new life as their own.  Instead, they would rather just feel safe in knowing that God is there... somewhere, but forgo the crucial part of following His teachings or seeking His path.  Sure, they are quick to praise God's Name when things go their way - when life follows THEIR plans.  But if the stars don't align to their liking, all bets are off and they quietly sweep God under the carpet and continue doing things their way.  

Society today is accustom to showing offense to what they disagree with.  In a world consumed with sin and selfishness, it is certain that God's Holy Word will always be in disagreement against man's desire.  So, it is inevitable that those who belong to Jesus and speak His truth outlined in scripture will inevitably be criticized and rebuked for what God says.

For example: If a Christian openly stands against homosexuality, they will undoubtedly offend someone who has chosen to sin against God in this fashion.  But we are consistently told in scripture that homosexual activity is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Romans 1:26-27 teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. Most importantly, 1 Corinthians 6:9 proclaims that homosexual “offenders” will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Now, upon hearing this information many will take offense and likely send me all forms of hate mail.  They will claim that their lifestyle is under attack and their freedoms are being challenged.  But would you not agree that "not inheriting the kingdom of God" is a vital truth that we must (in love) warn others against?  Would you not agree that their eternal well-being is monumentally important?  Of course!!!

Because of this, we must never soft pedal over what scripture says or become shy to share God's plan of redemption to any who will listen.  We must always live prayerfully, respecting every individual enough to share God's saving truth.  We must live out our love and always approach such matters with Christ at the core - trusting the Holy Spirit to show Jesus through our words and deeds and not worrying over who we offend when we present The Way.  For God hates sin, but he desperately, romantically, generously and fully loves people.  So much that He gave His only Son in order to save people from their sin... sin that would result in their eternal death and spiritual demise.

Unfortunately, many people would rather deny God's love and quietly continue sinning.  They would rather not turn to Jesus for redemption.  Whether engaging in unholy physical relations or abusing their minds with corruption - those who will not turn to God will be offended when He calls them out and instructs them to seek after His holiness.  Instead, they will kick and scream like children holding a temper tantrum against their Father.  They will reject, deny and redirect the focus off themselves and negatively onto the One who only wants what is ultimately best for them.

Jesus knew this.  The Bible tells us that some people will be offended at the gospel.  However, as followers of Christ, we are commanded to share the gospel.  We are told to boldly tell others God's Word.  In fact, there is no excuse for not doing so (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).

"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Luke 12:49-53)

Ladies, I challenge you to consider if you are still choosing to sin while covering it up by self-proclaiming yourself as a victim or a forgotten child of God.  I encourage you to get into His Word and seek out and follow His Ways.  Ask yourself, are you really following Jesus in your daily life? Are you setting aside selfishness and personal expectation and turning to Him in every area?  Or is God just a nice idea for you to hold onto when the weather is good?  When the sun is shining?

I further challenge every Christian to boldly stand for what is true and live in alignment with what God has said in His Word... no matter what the cost... no matter who reacts in offense.  Rather upset those whose hearts are already turned over to Satan than offend your Heavenly Father who is control of all eternity.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

In conclusion, let's meditate on His Word today (and every day).  Let's follow the teachings of the Father who cares for us most and choose to turn to a life of holiness.  A life that bears the image of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies. (2 Kings 17:39)

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10)

"But am I the one they are provoking?" declares the LORD. "Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?" (Jeremiah 7:19)

Say to them, "As surely as I live," declares the Sovereign LORD, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?" (Ezekiel 33:11)

If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. (Deuteronomy 8:19)

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)

A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13:1)

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. (Proverbs 13:14)

A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. (Proverbs 14:16)

A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise. (Proverbs 15:12)

He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. (Proverbs 15:31)

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Luke 11:27-28)

Blessings, ladies!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson
  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

r-e-s-p-e-c-t

Today, I want to address a matter that has become a growing concern for me regarding the many wives that I meet. My concern is how we are treating and speaking to and about our husbands. I am always amazed at how disrespectful some women use their words to tear down and diminish the men they swore their very lives to… and usually they are complaining about mundane and unimportant issues that in the grand scheme of eternal life will not even matter.

I want to be clear about this. Our role as wives is to be a help to our husbands. We are to look out for them... to offer our instincts and give advice to them... in essence, to love them as ourselves and care for their spiritual growth. We are to treat them as we would our own self. After which, we are to trust their headship (which is an enormous responsibility for them).

The Bible teaches in Ephesians 5 that we are to submit to our husbands. This is a tall order, especially when we usually feel that we know better. However, this is how God designed marriage to function in a healthy and productive way. Later in Ephesians 5 (verse 33) it clearly tells us that “the wife must respect her husband.” This is key. When we respect our husbands, we are holding them up with esteem and honor in the important position God has given them. We are standing firmly by their side, praying for them - while trusting and motivating them to do what is right. We are their cheerleaders and best confidants! Unfortunately, this does not mean they will always do what is right…. but let’s be honest - neither do we. That is why we are to help and love each other in Christ.

In summary, I thought it important to remind and encourage Christian wives to really start thinking about how they are speaking and treating their husbands. What do your words and actions about him say about your love, faithfulness and character towards God’s intended design? This is your testimony, and if this is an issue for you, I encourage you to ask God and your husband for forgiveness. With Jesus in your marriage, together you can exhibit God’s love by being a living testimony of what “healthy” should look like. Let’s strive for that!

Blessings!

~Victoria

Note: If you are in an abusive/dangerous relationship that is distorted with ongoing, intentional sin that could physically harm you or your children, there is much more to be addressed than the form of "respect and submission" I am speaking about in this article.  In such circumstances, immediate separation from the threat with intercession and counseling from your pastor and/or designated church leaders, along with possible police involvement, is recommended for wives trapped in situations under serious duress.  Please note: Physical violence is illegal and should not be tolerated by anyone. No one should have to live in an unsafe environment.  Physical abuse is against the law, and the proper authorities should be the first ones contacted if this occurs.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Love Jesus, To Vicki

Yesterday, the Lord brought a smile to my face by reminding me of a small memory from my youth. It all started when Momba and Daddy decided to take my brother and I on our first "big" vacation... a road trip from Chicago to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was back in the day when the old Chevy station wagons came fully loaded with the attractive wood paneling. (Really, they were all the rage! Why leave paneling at home, when you can plaster it on the side of your car door? Too cool, people!!!)

The car was equipped with the traditional front and back seats (no bucket seats here, baby!)... PLUS our gorgeous monstrosity of a vehicle had a third back seat that could be setup for passengers to sit and face backwards, looking out from the rear window at the road behind us. It was awesome!... And, of course, what I mean by "awesome" is that it was setup to offer two little hoodlums (such as my brother and myself) an easy way to spend our travel time making goofy faces at unsuspecting commuters who may happen to pull behind our wild and crazy moving violation of auto antics.

Of course, early on, Momba had gotten wise to our foolishness. So, she had devised a plan in advance of the Disney road trip to save the many defenseless drivers from our distracting wackiness. She had worked with my father to install a make-shift table in the back of the car. This offered my brother and I a fully stocked arts and crafts table, allowing us to exert our creative minds away from the traffic outside. She had purchased several make-a-plate kits that included pieces of round paper to doodle on, along with the kit's "special" crayons. The idea was that we would draw our masterpiece on the round paper, then mail the finished work to the manufacturing company who magically turned your doodles into actual plates for dining. To keep our inquisitive minds busy, Momba bought plate-making kits for my brother and I to make enough dinnerware to cater to a royal wedding... and that, my friends, was her master plan. She wisely realized that she could kill two... actually three birds with one stone... (1) Keep my brother and I busy and content during a three day drive to Mickey Mouse; (2) Stop us from being the main topic of conversation on the police scanners; and (3) Make a full set of personalized dinnerware to give as Christmas gifts to every relative we had.... (and let me tell ya - that is a lot of people!) She really is a brilliant woman!

Momba was of the belief system that children did not need pre-printed coloring books that limited creativity. Rather, she felt that Scott and I should be able to first draw out our pictures and then color inside the lines. I don't know if this was her special way of saving a buck or two, but nonetheless, looking back I've always loved her for instituting this rule. It taught my brother and I how to express ourselves artistically.... something we both still enjoy in many different forms and mediums today.

So, there we were... Monet and Picasso (maybe not) expressing our many creative ideas onto twelve inch round pieces of paper. Because Scott was older and clearly more talented than I, his works were colorful, thoughtful and... well, comprehensible. Mine, not so much. You see, I was very young. I had only recently learned how to write out my name, so I'm certain that little was expected from my artwork. However, I was always trying to mimic the talent and abilities of my big brother. Scott would create visually splendorous landscapes blooming with flowers and happy farm animals. Sadly, I would draw globby stick figures. In my mind, they where just as good as Scott's, but when I look at them today, I see that my drawings were indeed inferior... and clearly in my blue period. (Ha ha. Just about every picture I drew was done in the color blue.)

OK, so now for today's DW thought...

All my life I have been prone to mixing things up and saying them backwards. Example: I always referred to my left as my right. If we were facing East... I'd say it was West. My elbow was my shoulder (and vice versa). Anyway, during this particular road trip, I had limited experience in signing my name - much less the names of all my family members. So, I did my best to reason out how to sign each plate correctly. Unfortunately, I reasoned it out backwards (as usual) and mixed up the "to" and the "love" part of my greeting. Example: Love Grandpa, To Vicki... Love Auntie Ruthie, To Vicki... Love Momba, To Vicki... and so on. My reasoning to do this was completely sound in my own mind... for I DID love Grandpa, Auntie Ruthie and Momba sooo very much... so it made perfect sense that they should have the word "love" written next to their name.... not mine.

Thirty+ years later, whenever I am blessed to be present at a family gathering, it is inevitable that one of these darling plates surfaces, posing as a make-shift cheese or veggie platter. When they do turn up, my brother and I always smile at each other across the room and silently remember the amount of unconditional, unending love and care that went into their creation. I have to laugh when I think of the reaction of those who received my one-of-a-kind dinnerware that particular Christmas. How they must have giggled at the innocent expression of love from their favorite blondie-blonde tomboy. Since that time, many of these family recipients have passed on to be with Jesus, but the plates are still in circulation and being shared within our family.

Love Grandma, To Vicki... Love Daddy, To Vicki... How glad I am that I followed my heart and wrote the "love" next to their names rather than my own. To express such love may seem backwards and mixed up in comparison to how things are supposed to be done in this world, but I don't care. It is how we should all express love to one another... with a pure and genuine love that comes unconditionally from our hearts. That is the love that God desires from each of us.

Ladies, let's follow the teaching of Jesus and lovingly put His name before our own. Let's showcase His love in how we treat one another so that His ways are continually in use from generation to generation. Let's take the time to share the gift of God with everyone we meet so that they too may be offered the blessing to eat off His bountiful plate. For His portion is always enough. His table is waiting.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:11-12)

Love Jesus, To Vicki...

Blessings!

~Victoria

Saturday, October 12, 2013

devoted and ready for use

Pausing in this prayerful moment.
Thanking God for all He provides.
Considering all His family who come to uplift one another in Spirit.
Reflecting on our worldwide number and the impact for good that we're capable of displaying in Jesus' Name.
Let us continue to follow the Spirit's guidance and adhere to God's living Word.

Thank you, Lord, for the honor of knowing and serving YOU.
We stand in awe of You... devoted and ready for use.

By Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ok, b-day 44...

another birthday... thank you, Lord!

Thank You, Lord
For another birthday
To start anew
To live Your way.

Thank You, Lord
For another new year
To mold my heart
To keep You near.

Thank You, Lord
For the blessings You bring
For the love You share
For Your reign as King.

Shepherd my walk
Comfort my nerves
Provide for my needs
Teach me to serve.

Tame my wicked tongue
Feed my huge appetite
Restore me to health
Arm me to fight the good fight.

Fill my heart with Your love
Fill my soul with Your peace
Fill my mind with Your truth
Give me strength to pray and not cease.

Oh Jesus!
You are indeed my greatest gift
My greatest friend
My greatest wish!

Thank You, dear Lord
For another year close to you!
Might you use me, might you teach me;
To love the same as you do!!!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Blessed be the Name of JESUS today and every day!
This is the day to rejoice and be glad in Him!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

rejoice!

In His Name.
For His Glory.
From His Power.
With His Love.

This is the day!
REJOICE!
Jesus is Lord!
Our great King is GOD!

Blessings because of Him alone!
Hallelujah to His Holy Majesty!

~Victoria

knowing me through knowing Him

As some of you may already know, in this week I am enjoying another birthday. Every year on and around my birthday, I've gotten into the habit of spending some alone time with God to perform a personal audit of myself and digest "The Life of Victoria Anderson," if you will. I conduct an overall assessment of subjects like where I am spiritually, where I spend most of my time, what goals I want to accomplish, how well I've accomplished past goals, and where I have fallen short and dropped the ball, etc. etc. etc. It is a special block of time that I schedule to "just be" with God - to pray over my purpose and path. In these moments of rest and reflection, I ask my King to further reveal to me the specifics of how I can best serve Him and commit my life over to His care in the upcoming year.

The #1 objective of my personal audit is to insure that Jesus always remains my center focus and the reigning authority of my world - rather than Him being some afterthought after my own selfishness has dominated and ruled. In this process, I am compelled to re-devote my life to Him. Here, my Savior and I review my prayer list, and I share with my Lord the greatest joys and disappointments I've known over the past year. I read and recite meaningful scripture passages studied and/or memorized and meditate on His promised devotion and love. Lastly, I take time to write out what I'm struggling over (where I really need Him most)... and also what I am thankful for (praising Him for His generosity and grace). I make a point to always remember that no matter what I "want" in this life is never more important than what I already "have" in my eternal Christ. I know that His way is the only way for me.

Of course, to me a personal audit is not something that can be finished in one sitting. It takes much prayer and reflection, and is forever subject to modification according to scriptural revelation and spiritual governance from my Master. For me, the process of auditing usually takes about two weeks to a month to finish. That said, it seems that I am always revisiting my "life" journal as time plays out and experiences occur. But October (my birthday season) usually ends up being the official time when God and I sit down to discuss and review "everything" going on in my heart. I can't begin to tell you how much I cherish this "Parent/Teacher Conference" with my King.

Furthermore, my personal audit is indeed that... personal - between me and God. I rarely have shared details of it with anyone else. In fact, sometimes I am cautious to completely write my hopes and dreams down on a page. For, many of my precious thoughts are quite sensitive for me to even talk (or write) about. Many of my prayer requests are too intimate in nature and emotionally overwhelming that I can't bring myself to put pen to paper to list them. Rather, I simply jot down one or two trigger words as reminders to myself and then leave the rest in my heart for the Holy Spirit to oversee.

Anyway, this morning I was continuing through the process of my personal audit, and paused to read a little scripture and some of Charles Spurgeon's writings. Today's entry was so profound to the necessity of my audit, that I decided to share it with ya'll.

"I will meditate in thy precepts." (Psalm 119:15)

There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser's feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth, if we would get the wine of consolation therefrom.

Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it.

Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this morning,
"I will meditate in thy precepts." (Charles Spurgeon)

Ladies, I encourage you to conduct your own personal audit with God. It doesn't have to be a formal process. It doesn't have to occur exactly on or before your birthday.  And it doesn't matter how long it takes to complete. A personal audit is simply a starting point. It is a place to meet God and share with Him the desires of your heart, the goals you wish to achieve, the hopes you wish to happen. From there, you can digest His truth and seek answers. You can specifically see His workings in your life as you walk with Him and meditate on Him daily.

I don't know why I felt compelled to share all this with you today, but I hope it has encouraged you to regularly audit your own life and seek a more intimate relationship with your Almighty Father and Teacher in areas exclusive and personal only to you. Also, I hope it motivates you to start moving forward - advancing your daily walk with Jesus. It is a starting point of what you can pray for... of what topics you can study and meditate on. You see, becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ is an immediate blessing of salvation and at the same time, a process through the workings of the Holy Spirit in your life. It is a moment-by-moment relationship with the One who knows us best... the One who wants us to know Him best.

My hope in writing this, is that you see the value in blocking off time to invest in your own personal audit with God. He is ready to start working in your life. He is sensitive to start healing your hurts. He is willing to start guiding your steps. He is able to start changing your life. Will you share your needs with Him? Will you invite Him in and walk with Him rather than continue to remain a stranger to His way? Will you cast all your cares upon Him? He does indeed care for you. He wants your life to be purposeful and fulfilling and joyful and meaningful. In Him all things are possible. So, I encourage you to sit down. List it out. Share yourself with your God... and then go from there... together. Allow Him to consume your heart and mind every day and walk with Him. Your Teacher... your Father has the power to change your life. All things become NEW in His presence! This is your starting point.

This... THIS is the day!

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)

And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible. (Jeremiah 15:21)

God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11)

I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;
give ear to me and hear my prayer.

Show the wonder of your great love,

you who save by your right hand

those who take refuge in you from their foes.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;

hide me in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 17:6-8)

Blessings!

~Victoria

Sunday, October 6, 2013

His blanket of grace

"Your warmth surrounds my fragile frame,
And comforts all my guilt and shame.
Bundled, healed, forever blessed;
Beneath His wing, I've found true rest.
O Glory for the blood He shed,
To cover me from toe to head.
Dear Savior, blanket each new day.
Conceal me, Lord... reveal Your Way!"

All glory and honor and praise is God's today, peeps!
Enjoy His magnificence this lovely Sunday while being swaddled in His splendor!

XOX!

~Victoria

count your blessings

I passed an old church in our neighborhood and noticed a sign in front posting the church's scheduled service times along with some very good advice:

"Count Your Blessings - Not Your Problems"

Wow. What an easy thing to do - but I don't always do it. But what if I actually did make the deliberate effort to count my blessings rather than my problems? What if I started to acknowledge all my basic "take for granted" life blessings such as: sight, hearing, smell, taste, food, clothes, health, family, friends, church, work, etc. What if I then graduated that concept into counting the larger blessings too - such as: God will always keep His promises to me. I am saved by faith in Jesus Christ. I am a child of the King of Kings. God is always with me. I have been redeemed. Jesus loves me FOREVER!

It is so easy to fall into the sin of grumbling, complaining and hopelessness, isn't it? It is equally easy to over-sensationalize and be dramatic over undesirable circumstances for the sake of gaining attention and feeding our egos. But are these actions really in keeping with giving our whole heart, soul and mind to the Lord? Are we to sound defeated over earthly matters when we are children of the Most High God? Absolutely not!

Mind you, I'm not suggesting that we don't ask for support when needed. And, of course, we are to uphold one another during difficult times while casting our cares upon the Father. But, that is very different than grumbling, complaining and acting like the war against evil is lost. Have we quickly forgotten that Jesus overcame it all? Don't we know that to live is Christ? Of course! So, why not live like it and count our blessings! Why not commit all our ways to Him and choose to always make a joyful noise unto the Lord?

Ladies, let's ask God to strengthen our faith to trust Him with ALL our problems rather than spread a spirit of dismay and discouragement throughout the earth. Let's use our words wisely and for the purpose we were created for - to praise Him and spread His good news!

Let's live every single moment blessing Jesus' Holy Name! His glory is what matters most! So, count every blessing produced by His gracious love and lay aside all the rest for Him to handle. He is faithful, dear believer. Count on Him, for He is enough.

Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.


Blessings!

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson
Hymn Written By Rev. Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Friday, October 4, 2013

the love of One

In a world where relentless, sinful men devise to take take take from me;
It's nice to know the love of One who gives gives gives for free!

While others try to benefit their bank accounts and fame;
My Jesus humbly intercedes and shares His Holy Name!

Those greedy scream and shout their lusts with pushy, self-demands;
But my God's still, small voice of truth remains the strongest place to stand!

Surrounded by excessiveness and hype spun out of control;
I'm thankful that all I'll ever need is the Savior who saves my soul!

Yes...

In a world where relentless, sinful men devise to take take take from me;
It's very nice to know the love of One who gives gives gives for free!

Thank you, my generous King!
I am blessed in every single moment with Your unfathomable, eternal and generous LOVE!

Blessings!

~Victoria

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