Tuesday, April 29, 2014

a very important fact


Today, I felt compelled to share a very important fact:

God is here, present and ready to love you today!
So, keep your eyes on Him.
Follow Him.
He will see you through all your troubles.
Don't let Satan convince you otherwise.
God is real, alive and active!
Trust His promises.
He is our Shephard.
Our Rock.
Our Master.
Our King.
Our Comforter.
Our Great Redeemer!
Let's delight under His leadership, for He is good and we have freedom in Him.

Meditate on this truth day and night:

Those who receive Jesus will dwell in His house as joint heirs to Christ's kingdom... FOREVER! 

He has definitely blessed us beyond all measure!  YAY!

So, this lovely morning, walk with this awesome fact stashed in your pocket and REJOICE IN HIM ALWAYS!

Jesus said, "I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

Yippee!

XOXOXO!

~Victoria

© 2014 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, April 28, 2014

o death, where is thy sting?

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Yesterday, death visited again.
Chaperoning away my grandmother's warm soul,
Escorting her outside her big, beautiful heart;
Leaving a cold, empty, frail corpse behind.

I am no stranger to death.
It has taken away many I love.
It has loomed in front of me...  beside me... around me.
And I have walked multiple times nearby its shadow to recognize its presence.
Still, today I speculate when death and I will formally dance in rendezvous.
When my own human scales will fall away into the dust of this world.
Will it come graciously, tenderly... like it did for Grandma?
Or will it arrive suddenly, tumultuously, callously?

Ah, death.
Death is an appointment no man can thwart.
An avenue we each are destined to travel.
And yet joyously, I look past its sting.
I find peace in its purpose.
For death is merely a calendar keeper.
A hall monitor to God's perfectly planned timetable.
Death: a means to an end... 
Or rather, a beginning for those in Christ.
For holiness trumps all death!
And the Holy of Holies has triumphed with His own crucifying encounter...
With His victorious resurrection...
With Jesus!
The One who beckons us to know His New!

Grandma knew Him.
Grandma loved Him.
And yesterday, Grandma walked down death's isle,
Exchanging hands from death to her High Priest.
Taking on the Name of her eternal Husband.
Receiving the gift of her Heavenly Father.
With Him, she has finally escaped the confines of her corrupted shell.
She has become His New!!!

Yes, yesterday death took another whom I adore.
And yet today, I live joyfully in a peace the world cannot fathom.
Hear me, planet Earth...
There is hope past the grave!
I do trust my Savior's promises!
I live in assurance of His New!
Do you know His New?
Have you accepted His gift?

This is not goodbye, dear Grandmother.
This is only the beginning.
May all who belong to Christ Jesus rejoice alongside me!
For another in God's eternal family is home!
In His perfect timing, I too, will see you there.
And together, we will praise The Lord,
The Overcomer of all death!
Glory Hallelujah!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© 2014 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Thursday, April 24, 2014

all I see before me


All I see before me are things I take for granted;
Luxuries that God has given me;
Blessings that others do not have and are forced to live without.
Today, it was the ice maker built into the door of my refrigerator;
Connected with a clean line of filtered water;
Powered by a gentle stream of electricity;
A device intended to freeze every cube of which I so callously consume;
Used so that my thirst could always be quenched
With a seemingly endless and bountiful supply of cool drinking water.
Water that I will enjoy with the next meal of my day.
Water that I will regularly take for granted and run effortlessly from my faucets.
How rich I am... and I do not realize!
How poor others are... and how little I care to be reminded!
Forgive me, Father!!!
I am selfish and poor in Spirit;
Indeed, a much worse predicament to be in
Are with those who face the daily threat of Hepatitis, Typhoid, Malaria, Cholera... amongst so many other forms of disease and distress.
Forgive me, Father, and change my heart.
Make me beautiful from within;
Teach me to always be grateful and to see with Your eyes... to feel with your heart;
Guide my steps to boldly go where you call...
To always do what must be done;
To love in action.
To love in sacrifice.
To love in thanksgiving.
To love... like Jesus.

All I see before me are things I take for granted;
Luxuries that God has given me;
Blessings that others do not have and are forced to live without.
All I see before me are Your gifts I take for granted;
And lost souls still drinking from age-old contaminated wells that do not satisfy.
People famished and in great need of Your cool, refreshing, Living Water.
Indeed, the richness of Your love is more wealthy than life's pleasures.
The joy of Your fullness can satisfy every thirst forevermore.
Yes, teach me to see with these eyes - YOUR eyes, dear Savior!
Guide my steps to boldly do what must be done in Your Name;
To love in action.
To love in sacrifice.
To love in thanksgiving.
To love... like Jesus.

Today, afford me the honor of sharing a cool, redeeming glass of YOU to an arid, parched, and oh so thirsty world!
And teach me always to love... like You, my refreshing King, first loved me!
Hallelujah!

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life." (Revelation 21:6)

Blessings!

~Victoria

© 2014 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, April 21, 2014

victory

Yesterday was Easter.  Or what I prefer to call Resurrection Sunday (omitting all pagan references).  Yesterday was the day in which Believers worldwide acknowledged the ultimate day... the ultimate triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over sin and death. It is the most important of all Christian holidays (even more so than Christmas) because of the significance of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection upon which our Christianity is based.

So, yesterday as I logged onto the Internet and perused my usual social media websites, there were very few pages that didn't acknowledge that Christ had successfully risen. There were endless posts and acknowledgements of faith praising the Savior... the One and only Messiah who selflessly brought the gift of salvation to all mankind.  Yes, yesterday every Christian organization and Bible-believing church that I am aware of deliberately, publicly, unapologetically praised and honored Christ's Name.  We quoted God's Word.  We sang His blessings. We sent one another cards, and emails, and statements of encouraging faith.  We lived yesterday acknowledging the hope of all eternal days ahead... all because of Jesus' sacrifice.  All because He rose from the dead and conquered sin and death so that we might be with Him forever.

Yes, yesterday was Easter... Resurrection Sunday.  A holiday showcasing God's eternal love and protection for His people.  Yesterday was a beautiful gift!  But what about today?  Now that this new day has dawned, do we still claim that same victory?  Will we remain so bold, so public, about our faith?  Will we proclaim, no matter how politically correct or socially acceptable, our belief... our hope... our joy... our promised future is in His Name?  Or is that wide-spread Christian message only reserved for the Easter season?

In response, might I pose to you this encouraging truth as a new Monday morning rolls in and we each return to our regularly scheduled agendas...

Everyday, God is here - with us!
Everyday, we who claim Christ as Lord are living redeemed!
Everyday, the triumph of Jesus' death and resurrection frees us from all sin!
Everyday, we can live confidently in His victory!

Yes, victory!

Sometimes, I think we forget that.  I think it is easy to live in defeat and be bogged down by all that life throws our way.  We wade in our own man-made complications and allow our moments to be filled with self-appointed distractions and worry.  All of which Satan capitalizes upon in order to sway our vision away from Resurrection Sunday... from the salvation found only in The Lord... from the victory of Jesus.

Believers, we are free.  We belong to God.  And, we are facing our trials behind His shield so that we might trust His power, His strength, His ability, His love... so that we might lay down our old ways and become His new intended creation!  Yes, Jesus rose up from all death's muck and mire and freely gave us something better than the way of the grave.  And today, He calls us close.  He promises to never leave or forsake us.  He guides us through the thorns and reminds us that He has ordered where we step.  He is our God.  A good, loving, eternal, all-knowing Messiah that wins!  So we win!  Yes, victory!  This is the motto of our new day in Christ... of every new day!  This is why we must continue to be so bold, so public, so open about our faith!

So, be bold today, dear Christian!  Make Jesus public and share the good news of your faith.  The old is gone.  The battle is won.  The new has come.  The victory is ours!  Yes, in Christ we are His people, and we are here to proclaim His victory in every step, every breath, every stress that molds us closer into the comforting, eternal curve of His arms.

Victory in Jesus!  Victory in Jesus!  Victory in Jesus!

Do not hold back.
Do not forget.
Do not reserve your worshipping and/or acknowledging of Jesus Christ to one annual holiday.
For He is the same yesterday, today, forever!
He is victorious... our VICTORY!
He is Savior and Lord... MESSIAH HAS COME!

Yes, everyday, God is here - with us!
Everyday, we who claim Christ as Lord are living redeemed!
Everyday, the triumph of Jesus' death and resurrection frees us from all sin!
Everyday, we can live confidently in His victory!

VICTORY!  Woo Hoo!

Today, I encourage you to fully devote this new day entirely to The Lord!
And be thankful, for our God wins!

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Blessings!

~Victoria
(How I love the meaning of my name because of His Wonderful Name!  Thank you, Lord Jesus!)

© 2014 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

waiting for God

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31; King James Version)

Waiting...ugh. I hate to wait.
It is such a nuisance, such an inconvenience.
We live in a "now" world.
We have an "express lane, fast food, pay-at-the-pump" mindset, and we justify it with the idea that our time is valuable.
But the truth of the matter is, valuable or not - our time is God's.

So, there it is in Isaiah 40. The statement, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..."

Read also in Psalm 27:19 where it more directly commands us, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

There is no getting around it, no matter how desperate we are for answers, no matter how helpless we long for relief, no matter how much agony we endure - there are times that God expects us to just wait for Him. And waiting, despite our impatience and our dislike for it, is a vital element of a growing life in Christ. The ability to wait on the Lord stems from being confident and focused on who God is and in what God is doing. It means that we place our security in His wisdom, love, timing, and understanding of our situation. It means knowing and trusting His principles, promises, purpose, and power.

But let's face it, waiting is not easily.

So, as frustrating as it may be, let's step outside ourselves and try to expand our perspective to His higher vantage point...

This is the same Almighty, All-Knowing, All-Powerful God who created time itself. He has worked out the events of this world down to the very second.
While we scurry about on the surface of the earth thinking only of ourselves, we rarely consider that God oversees the orbit of the planets around the sun.
He created this world to spin at a particular pace while exactly positioning us in the proper location of our solar system.
He oversees the rising of the sun everyday and the dawning of the moon each night.
Our days, months, years and the activities within these moments are all because He gave them to us and sovereignly reigns.
Every heartbeat, every breath - we callously take for granted our next beat, our next exhale.

Yes, this is the God who brings us color, taste, light, water, variety.
He offers us beautiful seasons with times to plant and times to harvest.
He oversees all weather and soil conditions to bring forth food that sustains all creatures.
He knows the number of hairs on our head, sands on the earth, stars in the sky.

Yes, this is the God who tells us to wait upon Him.
He is a good God.
A God that has thought through every detail of our life, and the lives of every creature that has lived - past, present and future.
So, His call to wait should not be dictated by our selfish questioning and inconvenient moment of discomfort, but rather based upon the hope of a perfect Creator’s character and faithfulness to see His plan through until the end of days.

Spurgeon wrote, "Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, 'Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.'"

Waiting is a time that God wants us to seek Him. To do this, waiting means we must make time to study God's Word (seeking answers and claiming His promises); we must make time to pray about our issue (praying for discernment, clarity and wisdom); and we must make time to meditate further on who God is (getting to know Him as best we can). Included in this process might be our need to examine and evaluate our own motives and attitudes, our values and priorities, and our goals and objectives in life. By waiting and bringing everything before God in prayer and humility, we are taking the correct steps to actually be still and know God. We are to trust Him and stay on course to follow His perfect plan. We are to wait for His perfect timing to come. The exercise is intended for us to be drawn closer to the Savior, renewing the strength of our faith by stretching us to trust Him more, seeking only His will, His Way.

Ladies, remember when you must wait on God for answers (a husband, a child, a job, a dream, a direction, a change - whatever....), remember that God is always faithful and at work for your good. He is in control of EVERYTHING. Don't give into Satan's deceiving whispers that God might have forgotten you, or that He doesn't care, or that He isn't interested in listening to your desperate prayers. That is simply not true. If it were, God would not have bothered to give you life to begin with.

"To us, waiting is wasting.  To God, waiting is working."  (Lou Giglio)

We must always remember that God is trustworthy and hears our prayers.
He will act on our behalf and do what is best for us - but in His timing and for His planned purpose.
We must trust His promises.
We must trust His character.
We must trust His faithfulness, especially when we don't see Him.
We must always believe His Word.
We must establish our foundation on His good truth and nothing else.

Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see. (William Newton Clarke)

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.

Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait!"

"Wait?', you say, wait!," my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming your word."

"My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs into the balance, and you tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign."

"And Lord, you promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting. . . for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want . . but, you wouldn't know ME."

"You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence were all you could see."

"You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give, and I save... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the love in my heart."

"The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST."

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!"
(Author Unknown)


"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."

Ladies, let's renew our strength and be still in our Master's presence.
Let's pause as long as He requires, and take comfort that Jesus is Lord.
Praise Him as you remain close to His heart via His Word
He is with you through every storm, and through every drought.
Wait, and put your hope in His promises when He is silent.
He is capable and will bring solutions in His time.
So, just wait and trust He, who is Most High.

All glory and praise belong to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Who was, and is, and is to come.  Hallelujah!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, April 14, 2014

twice saved

This story is so important and profound, I had to share with y'all.  I hope you will share it too.  Love!  ~Victoria

Twice Saved - A True Titanic Hero

If you saw the movie "Titanic," you know much of what took place 102* years ago tonight, when the ship that even God couldn't sink, DID sink. Of the 1,528 people who ended up in the icy water, only six were rescued. But did you know that one of those six was actually saved twice that night?

His story is an inspiring reminder that there's more to life than mere survival.

To tell this man's story, though, I have to first tell you about another man, a Scot named John Harper. Harper, a minister of the Gospel, boarded the Titanic with his six-year-old daughter, Nana. He planned to travel to the Moody Church in Chicago, where he'd been invited to preach for three months. When the ship struck the fateful iceberg and began to sink, Harper made sure his daughter was placed into one of the lifeboats. He then began what would be the last evangelistic work of his young life.

As the freezing waters began to fill the ship, Harper was heard shouting, "Let the women, children and the unsaved into the lifeboats." Survivors reported that Harper took off his own life jacket and gave it to another man. "Don't worry about me," he reportedly said, "I'm not going down, I'm going up!"

When the ship began to sink, more than 1,500 passengers jumped or fell into the icy waters. As they gradually drowned or froze to death, Harper was seen swimming from one passenger to another, pleading with them to accept Christ.

Only six of the 1,500 people struggling in the water were later rescued, including a man who later identified himself as Harper's last convert. This young man had climbed up on a piece of debris. Harper, who was struggling in the water near him, shouted out, "Are you saved?" "No," the man replied. Harper then shouted the words from Scripture: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." The man did not answer, and a moment later he drifted away on the waves.

A few minutes later, the current brought the two men back together. Again Harper asked, "Are you saved?" Once again, the answer was "no." With his dying breath, Harper shouted, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." He then slipped under the waves for the last time.

Then and there, the man he had witnessed to decided to turn his life over to Christ. Four years later, at a Titanic survivors meeting in Ontario, Canada, this man tearfully gave his testimony recounting how John Harper had led him to the Lord.

I don't need to tell you that this dramatic story never made it into the movie. We live in a culture that seems to be more interested in fictional stories of romance, illicit sex, and priceless jewelry than in the real romance between God and His people.

When the subject of the Titanic comes up, as it may this week* on the anniversary of the sinking, tell your friends the story of the young Scottish minister who witnessed to Christ with his dying breath. And make sure your kids know the story a well. John Harper reminds us of a great lesson, the secret of the ages: that there's more to life than mere survival.

Written By Charles W. Colson
*Note: Dates Updated to Current Time
Copyright (c) 1999 Prison Fellowship Ministries. 
Reprinted with permission. 
"BreakPoint with Chuck Colson" is a radio ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

© 2014 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Sunday, April 6, 2014

come bend us, break us


O Wind of God, come bend us, break us,
Till humbly we confess our need;
Then in Thy tenderness remake us,
Revive, restore - for this we plead.

(Head)

© 2014 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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