Sunday, May 28, 2017

P.S. On this Memorial Weekend...

P.S. On this Memorial Weekend... Here is something my late Uncle Harold shared with Lovington United Methodist Church on Memorial Sunday, May 24, 1987:

"When the smoke cleared, twenty-six army soldiers of the 45th infantry division... some of them my buddies, were dead. My division had landed on the Anzio Beach head, Italy. A major thrust during World War II. The Germans had launched an air attack and had hit us with a least two bombs. They were trying to put a halt to our advance. Many Americans were wounded and many were killed. But nothing was to stop us from winning... but the cost was tremendous.

In the months that followed, I drove a truck which served as an ambulance for the injured at the front. Taking seriously injured soldiers to medical aid stations, I saw the cost of war up close. Many had missing limbs, had lost their eyesight... some were dying and did not make it.

This Memorial Day, I remember! I remember that the price of freedom comes high... the sacrifice made by Americans in World War II and other wars was the ultimate sacrifice. I remember that I was, and am blessed - for I got to come home in one piece. I praise the Lord for his gift of LIFE and on this Memorial Day Weekend, I pray that we will never have to fight a war again... especially a war in this great country of ours."

Harold Forsen
WWII Army Veteran

May we never take for granted the freedom that so many fought for us to enjoy.
May you have a blessed Memorial Day!

XOXO!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

walking with God

Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (Genesis 5:24)

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)


Enoch walked with God. Enoch accompanied His Master. Enoch stayed close and served His King until he was lovingly escorted directly to the throne room of the Most High. Oh, to be Enoch... to walk through this life and into the next WITH God. To intimately know God's grace that is greater than all our sin. Amazing love! What joy and hope to behold! Yes, Enoch walked with God because God is all Enoch needed! As such, he pleased His Father with his continued devotion and faithfulness.

I just love the brevity of Enoch's story in scripture. It's as if the Almighty couldn't bare to be apart from His most faithful even one more second. "Just come be with me, Enoch... walk with me... remain with me... and while your at it... oh, why not just STAY with me forever!!!" Glory Hallelujah! Enoch walked with God!

Recently, Momba came across an old, worn book in her belongings and gave it to me to read. The fragile pages within it are separating from it's binding but the print remains sound and the message is definitively clear. You may wonder why my mother would give me this tattered old book to read? The reason is because of WHO the book represents. You see, it is a devotional, published in the 1940's, that was given to my Great Uncle Harold by the Servicemen's Committee of Roseland Evangelical Mission Church just before he left for World War II. During this time, my uncle served in the Army and traveled through North Africa, Italy, and Europe carrying this simple but substantial book in his pocket. As a medic, my uncle saw just about every horror resulting from war. As a man, he faced every emotional, physical, and spiritual trial that accompanies the life of military service.

After my uncle returned to the states, his mother (my great grandmother) decided to read this little devotional every day, documenting her prayers and praises within it's pages for 20 years. So, as you can imagine, this tattered little book holds many notes written by the hands of my ancestors. Needless to say, every page is a treasure to relish.

Each morning as I turn the delicate paper to the next calendar date, I am reminded of the generations that came before me who also turned these same pages. With every word I digest, I am comforted in the knowledge that my own family members read and absorbed these holy truths. Best yet, I am so very pleased to know that these faithful, devoted family members chose to walk with God through their own journey. Knowing their history, I am confident that God remained a constant presence beyond their last earthly breath and into His throne room where Enoch and others joyfully awaited their Heavenly debut. Glory Hallelujah! Uncle Harold walked with God! Great Grandma walked with God!

Interestingly enough, my uncle's devotional was written by Dr. Henry Ironside (a former pastor of Moody Church from my hometown Chicago), and my grandmother had inserted a 1951 clipping of Dr. Ironside's death within the pages. The clipping reads,

"Dr. Henry A. Ironside, 74, pastor of Moody church, Clark st. and North ave., for 18 years until his retirement in 1948, died Sunday in a hospital in Cambridge, New Zealand, while on a world evangelistic tour, friends here learned yesterday. Dr. Ironside began his preaching career with the Salvation Army when he was 14 and later became a traveling evangelist and Bible conference minister. He became pastor of Moody church in 1930. He was the author of many religious books. Surviving are his widow, Ann, who was with him on the tour; a son, the Rev. John, and one daughter, Mrs. Gilbert I. Koppin. Burial will be tomorrow in Aukland, New Zealand. Memorial services will be held later in the Moody church."


As I think about the lives of Enoch, Dr. Ironside, my Uncle Harold, my great grandmother, and the impact of their individual existence here on earth... I'm amazed at how greatly God can use the lives of those who faithfully choose to walk with Him. Those who deliberately live with purpose to please their magnificent Creator. Those who carry His Word secure in their pocket through the worst of human storm and tragedy. Those who boldly evangelize His truth from the early age of 14 until the late age of 74. Those who quietly nurture their families day in and day out, trusting that their Master is always near and making it a priority to remain close to their King's redeeming presence.

Yes, these few walked with God. They were not perfect. They were not immune to trial or hardship. But they each made it a priority to know the Savior intimately. Today, these beloved brothers and sisters of the faith now stand free in the grace of the Lord God Almighty! Glory Hallelujah! For the same God that traveled alongside them, is also my great God. He is the God who will see me through this life and escort me into the next. He is the King who will direct my every step, even when the ground I walk upon quakes. He is the Master who promises to remain close... to always be with me... to always, always love me. He is my most cherished and faithful Friend. Yes, I'm with Him! No matter where this life takes me... I choose to walk with God! Blessed Jesus... Blessed Lord!

He who walks with God must take His way,
Across far distances and gray,
To goals that others do not see,
Where others do not care to be.

Who walks with God must have no fear,
When danger and defeat appear,
Nor stop when every hope seems gone,
For God, our God, moves ever on.

Who walks with God must press ahead,
When sun or cloud is overhead,
When all the waiting thousands cheer,
Or when they only stop to sneer;

When all the challenge leaves the hours,
And naught is left but jaded powers;
But he will some day reach the dawn,
For God, our God, moves ever on.

(Taken from H.A. Ironside's The Continual Burnt Offering)

Who are you walking with?
Who do you trust and turn to?
Who directs your path?
Who do you seek for comfort in times of trouble?
Who do you stay near in the simplicity and complexity of everyday life?

Might I encourage you to make it a priority to walk with the One who knows you better than you know yourself? Might I suggest you seek Jesus first... His kingdom... His righteousness... His love! Really, don't just talk about it... do it! For He alone holds the plans to your future. Walk closely with your God!  Trust me when I tell you that the impact of this decision may not only benefit you, but it will likely impact generations to follow... so, onward Christian soldier! Our loving God will never leave or forsake you! In fact, He invites you to cling to His everlasting security, peace, hope, and wisdom. He gives you His trustworthy Word to know Him better... to be WITH Him more!

So, will you choose to walk with the King of kings? Will you please the Almighty Creator with your attentive faithfulness? Will you follow the Savior wherever He leads? Will you, beloved, choose to walk with God this very day? For this is the day to rejoice and be glad in Him. This is the day to enjoy His unchanging and everlasting friendship... a friendship with the Most Worthy and Most High! O Glory, Hallelujah!

When all is said and done, my hope is that the final chapter of your life here on earth will be written like this:

" ____________ (fill in your name) walked with God and 
was commended as one who pleased the King."


O Glory, Hallelujah! Today, ____________ (fill in your name) walks with God!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, May 22, 2017

sand castles

How fragile we all are.
How quickly death looms.
How often we avoid preparing for the inevitable that will indeed come.

We work.  We play.  We live each day...
Burying the still, small voice that beckons our hearts to consider more...
It challenges us to ponder what follows these fleeting moments.
It invites us to search for real authority, real truth.
To ask, "Why am I here?"
To wonder, "What happens next?"
To consider, "What lasts forever?"

It is all too common to simply ignore the uncomfortableness of mankind's future.
To live desensitized to life's preciousness.
Instead our motto becomes, "Drink, for tomorrow we die... so look at me... notice ME!"

We briefly pause to honor the loss of those recently deceased.
Strangely enough, we are always shocked by their passing.
We wonder, did they make a mark?
Will they be recognized, respected, remembered, recorded?
No matter... our short attention span will inevitably move us quickly into the next today... the next to do... the next tomorrow.

And so we move on.
Life goes on.
Time passes on.
The clock ticks.
The calendar brings it's seasons.
The tide of tomorrow washes away our sand castles.

"What lies ahead?"
The still small voice calls out again...

“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.” 

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.  
(Matthew 7:24-29)

How fragile we all are.
How quickly death looms.
How often we avoid preparing for the inevitable that will indeed come.

Like the blind we grope along the wall, 
Feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; 
Among the strong, we are like the dead.
(Isaiah 59:10)

This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.  If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” 
(Isaiah 48:17-18)


© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

waiting over worrying

It's been a hard "go" for me lately.  A difficult and challenging year physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually... and so on.  Most of the time I do my best to put on a brave face and leave my worry, depression, and frustration with the Lord.  Most of the time I push myself to forge ahead... always trying to consider the beauty and wonder gifted to me from my generous, creative King rather than allow the horror and pain inflicted in this corrupt world to bring me down.

But this week has proven especially hard for me to cope.  And at this moment the enemy has wounded me to the point where I feel completely helpless, isolated, and deeply punctured by arrows of hopelessness.  How I long for Christian hands to be placed on my shoulders and honest, loving prayer to shower me with the wisdom and love of the Holy Spirit working in tandem.

Yes, this hour I find myself faintly praying undercover in morning darkness.
Silently remembering my Father's promises as tears roll down my cheeks.

It is here I whisper...

The Lord is my Shepherd.
I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness...
Why?
For His Name's sake!

So, even though I find myself walking through this hopeless valley full of death, and hurt, and pain, and terror...
I will not fear.

Let me say that again... I WILL NOT FEAR!

Why?
Because my Master is with me!
His rod and staff - His promises and commands - these are what comfort me.

Yes, it is right here that He has prepared a table for me - smack dab in the very presence of mine enemies at the height of these trials.
Here, He anoints my head with His royal oil; so much so that my cup runs over.
What a blessing to know His goodness and mercy follows me all the days of my life.
What a joy to remember I will dwell in His house... in His presence forever!

Thank you, Jesus.

This morning I find myself clinging to God's faithfulness.
I sit here singing hymns, repeating His Words full of strength and certainty...

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Yes, this new morning, I choose waiting over worrying.
I choose believing rather than retreating.
For all I have needed His hand has provided.
Through this present void, I will not fear.
I will not lose hope.
I will trust and obey the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.

Why?

Because great is His faithfulness!
Current is His anointing!

The table is prepared!
My place has been set!
My cup runneth over and over!

So, I will rejoice and be glad in this new day!
I will walk this path... the path He has ordained for me to travel...
Why?
For His Name's sake!
For His glory!
For His Kingdom comes and His will be done!

Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord!

Amen.

XOXO!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


Sunday, May 14, 2017

my greatest honor

I simply believe that there is no excuse as to why I should not share Jesus every single day of my life.  Whether in person, over the phone, via email, online, or whatever.  Really, how hard is it to bring attention to His perfect love at least once every 24 hours?

Lord, each day you allow me to draw breath on this planet... use me to mirror your love, to promote your holy Kingdom, and to rejoice in your astounding message of salvation!  Provide me the greatest honor to live these days as your good and faithful servant!

Blessed be His Name forever!  Today is the day I will rejoice and be glad!

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  (Psalm 118:24)


XOXOXO!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, May 8, 2017

we are Christ's


I hate loss.
I hate losing.
I hate giving up.
I hate giving in.
I hate throwing in the towel.
I hate defeat.
I hate dying.
And I really, really hate death.

But today I will die to self.
I will let go.
I will surrender.
I will sacrifice.
I will count it all loss.
I will...
In order to gain my Jesus.

He is my new Way.
He is my new Truth.
He is my new Life.

We are more than conquerors, Believers.
We are Christ's!!!

Check out God's Word...

Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV)
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 6:13 (NIV)
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

Mark 8:34 (KJV)
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Happy Monday, May 8th, y'all!
May you seek and find the everlasting love of the King of kings.
He is able.
He is all we need.

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

❤️

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Saturday, May 6, 2017

good and faithful


May 6th, Saturday Morning:

Realizing something very special has reached its end of usefulness, Victoria hesitantly retires one of her most treasured coffee mugs originally given to her and Chuck as a wedding gift.

Yes, this little cup has been glued and re-glued many times throughout their twenty years of marriage.  And yes, it has performed admirably - acting as a warming comfort through careers and sickness; through tea times, lattes, holiday spicings, and cider mulls.  This treasured little cup has served Victoria's family and friends well... consistently... steadfastly.

Understanding that nothing on this planet lasts, Victoria now pauses to consider how this good and faithful cup is leaving her with one final reminder... there is One who will never leave or forsake her.  One who will last beyond the trappings of this world.  She rejoices in the grace of His new, the hope of His future.

Now gazing through her window, watching bold squirrels parkour from tree to tree in her backyard, Victoria holds her broken cup and remembers the cup her Savior heroically carried in order to fulfill His Father's will.

Yes, He came to save mankind from sin.  To repair Victoria from her earthly breaks and burdens.  She cherishes His promises.  She looks forward to His banquet.  She longs to see the place He is preparing for her once she completes her usefulness in this world.  How she longs to discard all that is old for His new.  To hear His praise, "Well done, my good and faithful."  To live full and complete in His eternal home.

She whispers prayerfully, "Yes Lord.  You are the Potter, I am the clay.  Use this vessel for good.  I wish to carry your warmth and comfort to those thirsty and in need.  Allow me your great honor to share the Truth that truly fills and satisfies forever."

The sun is fully shining now as Victoria looks outside at her garden.  It is time to start tending.  Time to prune.  Time to work and serve well... consistently... steadfastly for the benefit of her family.  It is time to give... time to love... time to live useful for His good.  Yes, to everything there is a season.

Fill my cup, Lord.
I lift it up, Lord.

Happy Saturday!

:)

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

the greatest form of flattery

Have you ever noticed how you tend to pick up the characteristic traits of those you are close to? Have you noticed yourself emulating the mannerisms of someone you respect? The more time we spend with certain people, the more we find ourselves using the same words and expressions they may use. It is natural for us to unconsciously imitate people we admire.

Yesterday, the Lord posed an interesting question to me as I was perusing through a magazine. Do I know more about certain celebrities and world leaders than I do about prominent figures detailed in God's Word? Am I quick to read gossip about which movie stars are dating or take time out to know the plot line of my favorite TV show over insuring my understanding of My Redeemer's covenant and promises with His people?

Who am I spending my time with?
What am I watching and listening to?
Who do I unconsciously emulate?
Do my mannerisms portray who or what is truly influencing my time?

In this world full of ungodly distractions, these are questions we should visit, and visit often.

In 3 John 1:11 we read, "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God."

Friends, God wants us to be careful about the people and influences we invite into our hearts and minds. Let's take special care to live purposefully and emulate our gracious Father's Way. Let's only take in whatever is pure and lovely and just so that we put out the same. Let's be sure to use our time to learn what is important... what is eternal... and leave the rest at the feet of our Savior. Let us only see Him. We are citizens of Heaven and should live and promote ourselves as such. Never forget that. Never forget that we are His children and not of this world!

Blessings!!!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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