Wednesday, November 27, 2013

happy thanksgiving!


is your time spent wisely?

Is your time spent wisely?
Is your life for Him?
Do you live with purpose?
Or do you live on a whim?

Do you share with others?
Do you give and love?
Cause that's what Jesus did.
In earth and heaven above.

Just something to consider,
As you go on your way.
Is your time spent wisely?
That's all I have to say.

(Short and sweet! Wink.)

Blessings!

~Victoria

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

apple of your eye

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders 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)

the clothes on your back

So, recently my closet rod came crashing down with a great big BOOM! I guess I had too many pieces hanging on the rod and the weight of my clothes finally won out. So now, my bed is covered in wardrobe and I am faced with the task to finally go through years of skirts, sweaters and boots in an effort to remove what I no longer wear but have hung onto for entirely too long.

Now that everything is laid out, I have come to realize how many articles of clothing I own, how many pieces I actually wear, and how many I don't. It has caused me to be thankful for all that God has provided and has humbled me to think about how easily I had forgotten to notice what I have accumulated. When I think of how many occasions that have occurred in the past when I have selfishly announced in ungratefulness that I have absolutely NOTHING to wear.... it is truly embarrassing! Because if you could see what lays before me now, you would agree that I have SOOOO much more than I could ever need. I don't own one shirt... I own a shirt for every day of the year! Not one coat for cold weather months... but many! I can't even begin to imagine how many pairs of pants, scarves, shoes and bags I have callously taken for granted or forgotten.

Have you ever stopped and looked in your closet and counted how many pieces you have? It is incredible to think that there are people in this world who own only one outfit and, if they are fortunate enough, a pair of shoes. It really makes you stop to appreciate the clothes on your back... literally!

Anyway, my sweetie, Chuck, was kind enough to buy me a new, more stable closet rod so that we could re-hang my mini boutique and get our laundered life back to normal. So, I'm blocking off part of the upcoming long weekend to host a Vickized fashion show to decide upon the articles of clothing I truly love and want to keep. The other pieces (the ones that do not fit well, have become outdated, or have merely seen better days)... well, they will be given away or discarded. No longer will I just accept them as part of my make-up and allow them to hide the other pieces I truly love. No longer will they weigh down my life and smother out the pieces that I want to truly portray "me"... Yes, I will let the old and unflattering clothes go - and my load will be lightened.

I suspect this exercise is yet another part of the greater process of simplification taking place in my life as God has been reorganizing a lot within me and within my surroundings. I have come to accept it... to welcome it with open arms.  Why?  Because I have seen what I really look like without Him... and, trust me, it's not flattering.  Sure, it is not easy to watch your physical, emotional and spiritual life come crashing down allowing the Holy Spirit to lay out all the pieces of your heart for assessment... but in the end, it is worth it.  For with the Lord your load will be lighter; your burdens weeded out and removed by the Designer of all things! Yes, I want to lay aside the sin that no longer fits me and accept His new wardrobe!  I want to ensemble myself with God's magnificent glory so that each part of me is considered only in relation to His whole. I want to present myself clothed in Jesus when I look in the mirror.  This is the time to take the time necessary steps to seek out His style, and to put on His grace.  For His ways are apparent, absolute and good!  Thank you, Jesus!  I choose to be dressed in YOU - the One I truly love and want to keep for all eternity!

Lord, let me be an effective image bearer who reflects your beauty and wears your love openly so that my life is used to warm the hearts of everyone I meet. Let my life be simplified so that all that is seen in me is your richness, your grace, your perfect image!

Thank you for dressing me in your newness, my dear, sweet, beautiful Savior. Less of me... and more more more of YOU!

He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30)

XOX!

~Victoria

Sunday, November 24, 2013

blessed be the Lord!

How unsettled I am.
How peaceful His presence calms me!
How unsure I am.
How certain His truth guides me!
How exposed I am.
How safely His power covers me!
How foolish I am.
How awesome His wisdom directs me!
How broken I am.
How faithful His hands heal me!
How needy I am.
How giving His heart astounds me!
How fallen I am.
How forever His love lifts me!

Blessed be the Lord!
Blessed be the Lord!
Blessed be the Lord!
Blessed be the Lord!
Blessed be the Lord!
Blessed be the Lord!
BLESSED BE THE LORD!

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Saturday, November 23, 2013

here & now

A while back, I had plans to meet a friend for lunch who was visiting from out of town. I hadn't seen this particular person for about a year and was very excited to catchup on all the "haps" of his life. He had flown in to photograph a client in the city, and our plan was to meet afterward to enjoy a nice lunch downtown.

Now, in order for me to get downtown from the suburb I live in, I can commute one of two ways: (1) take public transportation, or (2) drive myself. Because Chuck and Momba were both planning on joining me for this lunch, we decided to all drive together. Momba offered to chauffeur while Chuck worked over the phone, and I tried to write on my laptop. But I couldn't write. I couldn't focus. I couldn't relax. For, I was simply too wound up. Why? Because not only were we in a huge hurry to get downtown (we were running late)... but also, everyone else seemed to be in a huge hurry too! It was as if our vehicle was surrounded by Nascar wanna-be's rushing rushing rushing on the expressway. People were driving like mobile maniacs and, frankly, it was freaking me out! By the time a little white Toyota almost collided with us at speeds of 80+ miles per hour, I had about vomited up my internal organs from the sheer anxiety of it all. (Doesn't it bother anyone else how fast and close and crazy people thoughtlessly drive?)

Needless to say, I wasn't at peace. The psychotic drivers all around me, coupled with my own stress to get to our destination in a timely manner, kept me from praising God for the glorious sunshine, the blessing of paved roads, the joy of owning a vehicle to travel long distances, the time alone with my family, etc. No, my focus was elsewhere - in a panic!  I was busy being distressed, worried, and tense. Yes, I had real apprehension about being late for lunch, and was uneasy about my family's safety on the busy roads.  In short, I was stressing over things I had no control over.  Valid stresses for valid reasons, mind you.  But stresses that I had improperly permitted to redirect my attention away from trusting God's sovereign control.

Then... I turned my head and looked out the passenger-side window...

There, spread out before me where fluffy, white cumulus clouds slowly moving across a big blue sky. Their pace was mellow. Their placement was artistic. Over the landscape of many suburbs they hovered - slowly making their way from point A to point B. Quietly advancing. Powerfully transporting unthinkable amounts of water over the earth. One day in the near future, God would use these cotton-like beauties to shower and replenish the land. One day, the Creator would order the wind to bring them to a specific destination at an ordained time to accomplish what they were made to do... to fulfill His plan.

I turned my head and really looked and noticed these gorgeous clouds. Quiet. Peaceful. Calmly moving forward. Obediently fulfilling their intended purpose.

In that moment, I realized that the stressful anxiety I was hanging onto was not a response that was honoring to my King. My hurried, worried demeanor was distracting my heart, soul and mind away from His glory. I was not living thankfully and presently in His grace. And in that moment, I realized that peace was not something I could independently manufacture... that true security was not under my selfish control... that my life was not really organized by any human schedule. No, my peace, security and schedule all belong to God. These are under His protection and care. My moments are not intended for me to anxiously worry over. No, my moments are really His moments - and provided for me to receive, trust and follow after my Redeemer. He calls me to calmly advance onward as I live appreciating and fulfilling my intended purpose... to bring Him GLORY!

How did I forget this? What was so big and important that I allowed my stress to temporarily eclipse God's splendor? For my wonderful King clearly cares more about me than all the clouds in the sky. He knows the very number of hairs on my head. He is overseeing every aspect of my journey from point A (Earth) to point B (Heaven). My trust is in Him. My safety is in His hands. How grateful I am to realize that even if I am powerless, He is not. I can look to Him and appreciate His order... His beauty... His plan for my life. I can turn my focus to really look and notice Him and then relax in glorious praise.

Thank you, Lord. For I am blessed by this important reminder. I am humbled, once again, by the many expressions and assurances of love that you share.

When we arrived at the restaurant to meet my friend, I showed up relaxed, peaceful, and calm because I was filled with appreciation, contentment, and gratitude. I sat through lunch beaming in blessings - as happy and free as a giggly little girl.  Why?  Because my romantic God had ordered a visual love letter as wide as the sky, choosing to deliver it within the peaceful breezes of an ordinary, busy day. Yes, my Savior issued a holy appointment for those clouds to capture my attention and remind me of His perfect sovereignty. How blessed I am to be His child. How grateful I am to know He is in control of my days.

So DW's, just like those peaceful, fluffy clouds, let's quietly advance forward under the Savior's rule. Let's carry His unfathomable power with us and share His replenishing purpose wherever the wind carries us. For we were created to take notice and glorify the One who made the big blue sky, the grains of sand, the flowers of the field. He has blessed us with infinite portraits of beautiful love, and desires for our hearts to be focused upon His joyous hope.

So, why not join Jesus in the here and now?  Why not relax in His peace that surpasses all human understanding?  Why not stop to take notice of His beautiful creativity and strength while patiently trusting His headship? Lay aside all your anxiety and join Him here... now!  Snuggle close to him, barefoot in His luscious green pastures... gazing in awe of His grace as you rest beside His still waters. Yes... today, restore your soul in His sovereignty.  Take time to look at His love... to notice and receive the One who has come to renew your soul. What else could we possibly need to focus on outside of Jesus?  He is all that matters.

Rejoice! For our God promises protection and offers freedom.  He has great plans ahead, and desires to shower us with blessings and goodness and grace beyond measure. Our God is a mighty, majestic, magnificent GOD!

Hallelujah!  Yes, hallelujah to our present and capable King!

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Friday, November 22, 2013

fix your eyes on Jesus!

Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather.
Never picture yourself outside of God's will.
Never compare your lot with another's.
Never allow yourself to wonder "what if."
Never dwell on tomorrow, for tomorrow belongs to God.

Rather, be content in all things.
Be content, and be thankful.
Be content, be thankful, and choose joy today!
For this is the day to rejoice and be glad!
This is the day to worship and praise your Savior as you live out your new, redeemed life!
So, live it, believer!!!
Praise Him and be joyful!
Worship the King, for He is good!

Yes, today make it a holy habit to fix your eyes on eternity... on Jesus!

Blessings!

~Victoria

why are we so afraid?

Well, I've spent the last year+ moving my household from Chicago to Houston... reacclimatizing my family to a new home and new community while also supporting my husband as he settles into a blessed new job.  In this short time, we've been hit pretty hard in all areas of our life with many new forms of change to accept which include financial adjustments to the family budget, flexibility to entertain new guests and incoming visitors, exhaustion/excitement in endeavoring to find a new church family, organizing and simplifying what God has given us, finding new medical doctors to manage my family's health as well as meet my own chronic pain needs while I also undergo a few surgical procedures, and so on.  (Sigh!)  Let me tell you... relocating, and dealing with all that goes along with moving, AND still trying to juggle the day-to-day hurdles that life in general throws our way is definitely not for the weak or weary (of which I am admittedly both). 

Yep, this last year+ has been a true growth experience that has further challenged my own ability to trust that the Lord will always, ALWAYS take care of me and my family. In fact, it has taught me a new level of patience to further believe that my God will always provide and direct us - no matter where we are located, no matter what unexpected trials or difficulties arise, and no matter how hard the enemy attempts to discourage and distract me and my family's vision away from Jesus. For discouragement and distraction are Satan's specialties, aren't they? He loves to redirect us... to turn our eyes away ... to rattle and rock the boat just enough that we forget who is traveling alongside us - the God of peace that is with us!

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27)

How interesting that in the midst of the most furious of storms, Jesus is relaxed enough to sleep. He is not at all fearful of the raging elements that loom about.  He is not stressed over rumbling waves and thunder.  No, instead Jesus simply sleeps. This is how little He is concerned with the threats of worldly distraction. This is how petty he views the discouraging microbursts intending to spread havoc.  Yes, Jesus is relaxed and peaceful.  Satan's vain attempts to rattle the Savior simply causes our King to yawn. For He alone is the Master, isn't He? He alone is in full control. He alone has the authority to get up and rebuke the winds and the waves that threaten us. He alone can follow-through on His promised calm - His promised place of rest, and hope, and peace!

No, not one thing is too furious for our Master to handle. There is no storm that can overpower His strength. There is no moment where He will ever be fearful or afraid or unable to reign over every element, every circumstance, every moment of our lives. So, why are we living so afraid? Why do we have such little faith in our great God? Why question His Word? Why challenge His law? Why?

"Fear keeps us from forgiving, taking a stand at the office, giving our resources to God's kingdom, or saying no when all our friends are saying yes. In the story of the disciples in the storm-tossed boat (Matthew 8:23-34), I'm struck by the fact that the only one who was not afraid was Jesus. There is nothing that He can't overcome and therefore nothing for Him to fear. So, next time you are haunted by your fears, remember that you can rely on Jesus, our fearless Champion!" (Joe Stowell)

Friends, as you face the current storms of today... as you venture through the discouraging winds and waves of worldly instability and encounter the distracting gusts and attacks of the enemy, I encourage you to consider how amazing and in control Jesus really is. Remember all He has promised you. Remember what He is capable of. Remember His calm and count on Him to see you through. He will. He is able.

HE IS ABLE!!!

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. (Psalm 107:28-30)

This is the day to remember your firm foundation... to thank and trust the One who travels alongside you - the One who offers to safely guide your steps into His holy kingdom. Yes, turn your eyes upon Jesus and see how small the panic of today becomes. Realize His lasting peace and place your faith in His truth. For there is no storm that can overpower His strength. There is no moment where He will ever be fearful or afraid or unable to reign over every element, every circumstance, every moment of your life. The Lord will always, ALWAYS take care of you. He will. He is able.

Do not be afraid. Rather, believe and glorify the Mighty Prince of Peace!

Blessings!

~Victoria 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

one breath followed by the next...

Today...

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Struggling to be free. 
Struggling to know peace.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Uncomfortable in this world.
Uncomfortable in this life.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Challenged to believe. 
Challenged to receive His forgiveness.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Choosing to trust. 
Choosing to put all my faith in God's proven Word.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Pausing in His holiness. 
Pausing in His promise.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Great is His faithfulness. 
Great is His presence.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Breath of Life, fill me. 
Fill my heart with your Spirit.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Walking in the Light He generously gives. 
Choosing to follow - choosing to illuminate the love of my King.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Praying and trusting. 
Praying and trusting that God is in control.

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

One breath followed by the next...

One breath followed by the next...

One breath followed by the next...

Breathe...
Believing.
Lord, help me.

Breathe...
Believing.

Breathe...
Believing.
Savior, stay close to me.

Breathe...
Believing.

Breathe...
Believing.

Until Jesus...
Until that BRAND NEW DAY arrives!

Glory, Hallelujah! God is with US! 

(Sound celestial chorus!)
(Bow down and worship!)
(Listen.  Receive.  Rejoice!)

"Well done, my good.
Well done, my faithful.
Well done, my beloved, righteous, beautiful bride... 
Now, relax here with me.
Be in my presence forever.
Breathe... and worship.
BREATHE and BE FULL!"

So today, dear and devoted...
Remember to BREATHE!

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...

Forgiven.  Favored.  Filled.  Forevermore.  
Be still and know...

Breathing in and out.
One breath followed by the next...
Believing.

Breathe...
Believing.

Breathe...
Believing...  ...  ...  ...

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written by Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

an important letter...

To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling — these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct — as irrational animals do — will destroy them.

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted — twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

(Written by Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James; NIV.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

solid as a rock

There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
(1 Samuel 2:2)

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!
(2 Samuel 22:47)

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
(Psalms 18:31, 46)

God is my Rock! I love reading about my Redeemer being referred to in this capacity. It suggests a powerful image that my God is both strong and immovable! My God cannot be shaken! I must stake myself to Him for He is secure, stable, strong and steadfast. Because He is secure, I will be safe. Because He is stable, I will have shelter. Because He is strong, I will be given strength. Because He is steadfast, I will have enough stamina to face anything. I only need to follow Him by putting His words into practice...

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Matthew 7:24-27)

"Jesus closes the sermon on the mount by a beautiful comparison, illustrating the benefit of attending to his words. It was not sufficient to "hear" them; they must be "obeyed." He compares the man who should hear and obey him to a man who built his house on a rock. Palestine was to a considerable extent a land of hills and mountains. Like other countries of that description, it was subject to sudden and violent rains. The Jordan, the principal stream, was annually swollen to a great extent, and became rapid and furious in its course. The streams which ran among the hills, whose channels might have been dry during some months of the year, became suddenly swollen with the rain, and would pour down impetuously into the plains below. Everything in the way of these torrents would be swept off. Even houses, erected within the reach of these sudden inundations, and especially if founded on sand or on any unsolid basis, would not stand before them. The rising, bursting stream would shake it to its foundation; the rapid torrent would gradually wash away its base; it would totter and fall. Rocks in that country were common, and it was easy to secure for their houses a solid foundation. No comparison could, to a Jew, have been more striking. So tempests, and storms of affliction and persecution, beat around the soul. Suddenly, when we think we are in safety, the heavens may be overcast, the storm may lower, and calamity may beat upon us. In a moment, health, friends, comforts may be gone. How desirable, then, to be possessed of something that the tempest cannot reach! Such is an interest in Christ, reliance on his promises, confidence in his protection, and a hope of heaven through his blood. Earthly calamities do not reach these; and, possessed of religion, all the storms and tempests of life may beat harmlessly around us." ~ Barnes Notes

My God is my foundation. He is where I place ALL my trust. He is my anchor, my cornerstone, my defense, my mainstay, my protection, my strength and my support. He is the very basis for my existence and all that I care about. When I am overwhelmed by problems or people that disappoint me, My God is faithful. My God IS!!!

Ladies, when you feel crushed by opposition and beaten down by sin... cry out to God, The Faithful Rock of ALL Ages! Follow His ways!!! He will not turn a deaf ear to you. He will receive your prayers. He will give you strength to carry on and on. Trust Him alone and stand strong on His foundation. His promises are truth. His Word saves! Build your house on what is solid and eternal. Praise His Name FOREVER!

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord...the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
(Isaiah 26:4)

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

what if...?

A while back, I received many notes and emails from friends and family members wishing to extend me their encouragement and support as I was scheduled to visit my doctor once again for a visit.

Why was I going to the doctor?

Well, I had noticed a nickle-sized lump on my rib cage and became concerned. It was hard and painful to the touch, so I was worried it might be cancerous. Chuck (my husband) was also quite worried and strongly insisted I make an appointment to have it looked at immediately. So, in a few days I was standing in a paper gown ready to be examined by my doctor. The day of reckoning for my lump had come.

Now, before I go any further, let me ease everyone's mind and inform you that upon inspection my doctor was not overly worried about the lump. After careful examination, she concluded that it was non-cancerous and merely a large cyst that existed in a very inconvenient location - thus making it painful. She recommended that we conduct a few other tests and continue to keep an eye on it for a while to see if it grows any bigger. If so, I would likely have it removed. If not, I would continue life as normal - now accompanied by a lump.

Anyway, since discovering my new lump and waiting to see my doctor, you can imagine how many "what if" scenarios ran through my mind concerning my overall mortality. What if this lump is cancerous? What if my health deteriorates? What if I have to endure more pain? What if this is the beginning of the end? What if my time on this planet will soon be over? What if, what if, what if?

It's interesting when you are faced with these types of questions - specifically the "what if's" concerning your own existence. For in every day, most of us think we are soooo important and our issues and lives matter soooo much. But in truth, if I died tomorrow the world would continue turning. Life would go on. Sure, I would be missed for a short while and remembered every now and then by those once close to me. My life would be summed up as either "good" or "foolish" depending on who you spoke to and what you believe. But then what? For those still on earth, that would be that - wouldn't it? My things would be given away. My name would be lost in history. My uniqueness would be a forgotten memory. When you really think about it, we are quite insignificant, aren't we? Yep, even those most famous and renowned in this day become merely an afterthought once all is said and done.

Anyway, out of the many notes of encouragement I had received, one very special email was from my brother, Scott. He mentioned in his email how he was scheduled to sing in Sunday's service at his church. And since this new month marks the anniversary of both my father and grandmother's death, Scott decided that it would be appropriate to sing, "It Is Well With My Soul" and pay tribute to two people who once greatly influenced both our lives. Here is part of what my brother wrote:

"Hey Vic... In church, I was scheduled to sing a solo. Well, considering what week this is, I thought that the only appropriate choice of song should be "It Is Well." Before I started singing, I said a little something about both Grandma and Dad being in Heaven, and about how the Lord had given me peace through these seemingly hard times. There was one point in the last verse of the hymn that I wanted to hit high and loud, but my voice broke with a slight sob when I came across the words, "... and Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight." Of course, I was thinking of Dad gaining new sight upon his entrance into Heaven in addition to the original meaning of the lyric. So much for being all impressive and dramatic." (Note: The "new sight" Scott speaks of is especially significant because my father was quite literally a blind person who had lost the sight of both his eyes when we were much younger.)

Needless to say, Scott's words hit home regarding the "what if's" that I had been thinking over. I could hear the Holy Spirit question me, "What if...? What if what, Victoria? What is most important is that you continue to sing high and loud about MY glory... about Jesus' LIFE!"

What a reminder. For, I am not here to worry about my own petty lumps. I am not to be sidetracked spiritually over physical pains or the discouragement of the unknown. No, I'm here to sing and share the message of the King of kings - no matter what! For only He is unique and alive and memorable - yesterday, today, forever!!!

Thank you, Lord, for this whole experience - this reminder that one day my own faith will also be made sight. My life only matters when it is about YOU! How I long to stand face-to-face before my Maker and hear you joyfully proclaim, "Well done!" Oh, then it will truly be well with my soul, won't it?! Then, every single tear that I've shed, every stress that I've encountered, every sorrow and scar that ever was... each and every unwanted "lump" will be washed away by your cleansing blood til there is only YOU... my precious, glorious Savior... Jesus!!!

Ladies, this life is really worth nothing unless we are focused on showcasing WHO really matters in every single moment and circumstance. Jesus is all that matters. So, if (like me) you find yourself in a pickle and pondering over the "what if's" of your existence... here are the only questions you need be asking yourself, "what if...":

What if you loved the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
What if you loved others the same?
What if you trusted the Lord always?
What if you lived holy and pleasing in His sight?
What if you committed your ways to His ways?
What if you lived patiently and waited on Him in all matters?
What if your only focus was God's glory?
What if, no matter what, it is well with your soul?

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
(Horatio G. Spafford, 1873)


Note: This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. The Spaffords later had three more children, one of whom (a son) died in infancy. In 1881 the Spaffords, including baby Bertha and newborn Grace, set sail for Israel. The Spaffords moved to Jerusalem and helped found a group called the American Colony; its mission was to serve the poor.What if, ladies?

Blessings!

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

(Facts about Horatio G. Spafford taken from www.wikipedia.org)

Friday, November 1, 2013

God meets us where we are.

What meets the eye?
God's voiced creation -
As witness for all to see.

What meets the ear?
God's true Word -
Bearing detailed testimony.

What meets the mind?
God's law and council -
Directing us from strife.

What meets the heart?
God's loving Spirit -
Drawing men to seek His Life.

Every day, in every way -
God meets us where we are.
Will you greet Him joyfully
Or will you stray afar?

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Blessings!

~Victoria

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