Friday, July 29, 2016

"Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom."     {Psalm 51:6}

My daughter sent me a text message Wednesday night, It started like this, " I'm ok, but I fell on my wrist and am on my way to emergency." She is such a smart kid! If she hadn't started with 'Im ok, I would have been terribly upset, especially since she lives in Chicago. It turns out that she broke both bones in her wrist during krate class.

Her wisdom told her to tell her Mom she was ok before stating the situation. She learned this by being around me, and knowing who I am. It's the same thing with God. When we are in His presence through prayer and worship, we learn what He is like. It is hidden in the deepest resources of our soul, safe for the deceptiveness of this world.  Nothing can take it from us, we know our Savior has sealed us with His Holy Spirit. The world didn't give it and the world can't take it away, as the song says!  Be blessed abundantly on this Friday, and all through the weekend. Our God is GOOD!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil." {Proverbs 4:25-27}

This beautiful ceiling was a church in Manhattan, and is now a popular restaurant. It hurt me to think that it wasn't a church any more.Why did those who attended allow it to become something else? I know a building has no significance, but it's beauty was definitely planned out to reach to heaven and inspire others to do so as well. What were they looking at, that they lost the faith to keep it in the faith?

As a young christian, I was drawn to verses that spoke about walking straight. It was so important to me to do this! One of the reasons people end up in the wrong place down the road a piece is because they aren't pondering the path that there are on. I certainly have made mistakes and will be the first to say so, but remembering these truths has made a difference. Standing on solid rock will change our lives and we will get to our destination! Praise God for that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Today's verse is in the picture. "I will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing upon you. {Malachi 3:10}

Don't jump from the top of the stairs ; I yelled up to my son! He was ready to swing himself over the banister and come down full force on my favorite reading chair. This was a little nook in my foyer where I loved to sit and read as the sunlight from the window on top of the front door bathed me with light. He already had it in his mind to do this, and down he came. Needless to say, my chair was ruined, and my son was unscathed by the experience; Not so his mother! What gets into the mind of a boy that he would even think to do such a thing? He thought it was a great and exciting but I thought it was dumb and dangerous.

Our scripture today is given just before the verse in Malachi that deals with tithing. Some say it is dumb and dangerous to give 10% or more to God, but those are most likely people who don't understand kingdom principles. When God says He will pour out a blessing, He means what He says. All of the promises of God are yes, and amen, which means that so true they are already settled.We can never out-give God. His riches come in all shapes and sizes. They can be people in our lives that are precious, or it can be the gift of hospitality, love or grace. God gives liberally to us, we just have to receive it and seek them out!

Monday, July 25, 2016

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will he withhold From those who walk uprightly.  {Psalm 84:11}

As my husband and I walked last night, I was touched with the goodness of God. Through Jesus Christ, we have been given everything for life and Godliness. Grace is being given what you don't deserve, and without Jesus, God couldn't even look in our direction, but because of the greatness of God and his unmerited favor, He not only looks our way, but He desires greatly for us to know Him.

There once was a King, who took in a little girl who had no place to go. The girl was dirty, hungry, and bleeding.The King had her washed, fed,  and bandages placed on her wounds. Then He placed a beautiful purple robe around her shoulders, and placed silk slippers on her feet. He declared through out His kingdom, that she was now His daughter,  a Princess, and was to be treated as one. The people knew that she was one of them, and treated her the same way they always had. She stayed away from them and listened to the words of love that her Father the King spoke to her.

One day a few years later, the Princess heard the children playing in the village and longed to go to them. Without much thought, she hurried out the door of the palace, and ran to where they were. They didn't recognize her, for she had changed in so many ways. he shed her royal robe, and her silk slippers in order to be more like them. Before she knew it, she was running and she tore her beautiful dress, and she was dirty and bleeding from falling in the hard dirt. she decided to go home to the Palace, but the guards did not recognize her and wouldn't let her in, the King however knew His child, and called her by her Princess name, and picked her up, fixed her wounds and held her close. She said to Him, I am so sorry for leaving, and disobeying your wise words, please don't be mad at me! He replied, You will always be mine, and the words I say are for your safety and good. Listen to me, and stay close and you will be well in every way. It took some time for her wounds to heal, and for her to realize how right her Father's words were to her. She had the scars on her knees to remind her of the hurt that comes when she didn't heed His truth.

We have all heard this story in some form or other, but the truth that rings through out the center of this tale is what our scripture for today says to us. Living in His presence, there is fullness of joy, and beauty for evermore. That's not to say that we won't skin our knees once in a while, but it is comforting to realize He is close, and is more than enough for our everything!

Friday, July 22, 2016

I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
{Psalm 111:1}

This is the scripture that inspired me to use wholeheartedlady as my blog name. I know some of you don't know what I look like, so I found a picture from 2011that I thought was acceptable. I don't like to have my picture taken usually, but my husband kept telling me, "Your grandchildren will never know what you looked like", so I realized that would be true, so I am not camera shy any more. It's not that I don't like my own face, it's just all the bad pics that kids take when your in the middle of talking, eating or doing something that makes you look weird.

Wholeheartedness has nothing to do with perfection. I will never be perfect, and I am fine with that. It takes the pressure off so I can be myself, and not be concerned what anyone thinks about me. When our identity is in Christ Jesus all that matters is what He thinks about us. If you have ever done the "Believing God" bible study by Beth Moore you probably remember the five pledges she taught us.

1. God is who He says He is.
2. God will do what He said He will do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
5. I'm believing God.

There are all kinds of voices vying for our attention. Most of them are lies, but we can always rely on the Word of God to direct us to the truth.These promises are not scripture, but they are based on the Word. God will transform your life to be better and greater than you could ever imagine, if you let Him!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I was up early this morning, and on my way to take my daughter to summer school when I saw these flowers! I love them, and they were growing wild along the side of the road. This causes me to remember my Mom. Wild flowers were her favorite; Queen Ann's lace to be exact.

I love the fact that sometimes the greatest things in life, are right under our noses. People miss out because they are so busy looking elsewhere. If my Mom hadn't said so often how she loved the flowers that grow where no one had planted, I would have missed them too.

Can we just rest a moment to see what God has placed around us? Have you noticed the beautiful day outside? Take a deep breathe, and thank God that you can. There has never been a people on the face of this earth, that has been more blessed than the people of God. We have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness. 2Peter 1:3 Shout out a Praise to the Lord!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"I have set my watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.
{Isaiah 62:6}

What a wonderful thing! To know that our God,watches over us at all times. Whether we feel His presence or not, He is there. Can we trust God to keep His word, no matter what the situation? Yes, we can, if we remember what He has done in the past, and that He is the one, and only one who has set the universe, and all universes into motion. So He covers the big things but He also says, the very hairs on our head are numbered.

There are times when we think our circumstances are unfair, or that there has got to be some mistake, surely God didn't mean for this to happen! If we walk in Jesus' steps, He will keep us, even when the storms of life come our way. He's not the creator of harm, destruction, or death. We live in a distorted environment that suffers from sin, and so we too can be subject to the effects of that corruption. Isn't that why we need a Savior who has conquered sin and death? Tell Him you love Him today!

Monday, July 18, 2016

So be strong in the Lord and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.   {Deuteronomy 31:6}

My mother once asked me why I read the old testament. I told her that we learn so much about God's nature through His relationship with Israel. On Sunday mornings we have been studying with Nancy Guthrie, about Jesus in the old testament. The Messiah, the Promised One, The Son of David are only a few names we see in those early writings, not to mention in Isaiah 7:14 where the Lord is called Immanuel, which is "God with us."

I know many of us could give testimony to the faithfulness of God with us. Beth Moore calls Jesus, the 'With of God. I remember this because it had a profound effect on me. He's the part of God that actually walked this earth, so that He would know what it was like for us. Not that God can be broken apart, not at all! The Holy Spirit lives within us, but Jesus' experience as a human, displayed the deepest form of love that will ever be. The Holy Spirit testifies that God's love is forever closer than we can imagine, but without the cross,  we wouldn't even know that God's Spirit was there.

Not only can we safely trust Our Lord to be "with us" today, He promises to be with us for all eternity. I love the song by Casting Crowns called "Already There." "When I look back on this life I'll see how all the pieces fit, because He's already there!" He's there in the future, in the past, and everywhere else we need Him. What an awesome God!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.   {Romans 8:5}

You and I both know this verse is true, but how soon we forget! Walking with God is the most amazing beyond this world thing that has ever happened to us, but it can be a little back and forth sometimes. When I have a bad allergy day, I can struggle to keep on mind on Him!

Let's look at Romans again, at verse 14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. God in His incredible mercy doesn't throw us out when we mess up, but He knows that we will gain our balance soon enough and walk with Him a bit longer next time, and a lot more over time.

It reminds me of my baby girl in this picture. I didn't scold her at 6 months because she didn't walk. She needed the process of time and movement to strengthen her muscles so that she could stand at the right time. My patience with her gave her the confidence to walk more steps one day than she did before.And so God teaches us, encourages us along the way, and oh the benefit that we enjoy! It is beyond words.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


This is my view to the left of my kitchen sink. I love all the fresh produce this time of year. It is part of what makes summer so sweet.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.   { Psalm 111:10}

Do you want to be part of something that is eternal? Then you need to praise the Lord. Not many things can be forever, in fact, as I look around the room I don't see a thing that will be here in a hundred years, including me.

I'll bet you have heard this verse before, but what does fearing the Lord mean to us? Reverence, loyalty, obedience are all part of this, but what God loves more than these, is a will to do what pleases Him. Sometimes this means surrendering what we really want, because He knows better. This is where the good understanding comes in. We have a knowing that His way is the right way, and yes, right and wrong still exist! God knows it, the devil knows it and we had better get this deep down in our souls, so we can walk in wisdom all the days of our lives. Amen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day by day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off oblivious to God."  {Romans 13:11} MSG

Did you ever notice that life seems to move faster, not slower? I think to myself, how many errands can I fit into my afternoon? How many loads of laundry can I get done before dinner, or  when can I get to those e-mails? When I put God first in my day, everything works out better. It's not that I want to put the Lord on the back burner, I just get caught up.

When He is my priority everything makes sense and my strength increases. Not my physical strength, but my tolerance for the issues of the day. My sons tease their younger sister, she screams at the top of her lungs, I can deal with that after I have met with God.

He says to me, Daughter, You can handle this, I have equipped you in my love to quell every undoing and detail of this day. Lean into me, not your own ways for my grace is sufficient for you. When I was on a missions trip to Belize last year, the Lord showed me a picture of me leaning into him so that I was almost totally inside. I wasn't smothered, but enclosed in a way that protection was taken care of. I forgot all about that until right now as I am writing. I pray that it blesses someone who really needs to hear it. Pray, rest, forgive.

Monday, July 11, 2016

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.  {2 Corinthians 9:8}NKJV

Lately I have been reminding myself to guard my heart from words that others say to me, and the lies that others live as if they are truth. Those of us who love God, and want to walk with Him in every way find it hard to understand the anger and hostility that is ever increasing all around us. We know that the enemy of our souls is in the center of darkness and destruction. So let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father in heaven. [Matthew 5:16]

Just think on this, God's grace toward us is abounding, more than enough, overflowing and ready for us to take hold of. So, why don't we realize that He has already supplied everything that we need? Oh, the little foxes, that spoil the vine, the necessity of the mundane, the everydayness of life that creeps in to rob us of being in the secret place with our Lord. Where He is, is no darkness, but life everlasting!
 Our prayer and intercession for those who riot, needs to be persistent. The devil is the one who whispers into ears, You have not been treated fairly! Take action! Of course if someone really has been taken advantage of they have every right to take action, but I am speaking of those who kind of go along with the flow of rebellion. Anger has taken hold of them, and they are not listening to the truth of the gospel or of the abundance of love that God has for the broken. Jesus calls out, Come, sit at my feet, I will comfort you, in your distress, and sorrow. I will lift that heaviness that seems to overtake you. I will fill you with peace.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I will sing praises to you among the nations, For your mercy is great above the heavens, And your truth reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens And Your glory above all the earth.   {Psalm108: 3b-5}

Nature always reminds me of God's beauty and goodness to us. It is absolutely amazing to think that Our Lord made everything out of nothing. He called substance into being, as if it always was. How difficult it is for me to try to imagine those things around me, such as the ocean, as not!

This Great Creator God of ours, wraps His loving arms around me, and says "Be still, I have calmed the oceans in your life. My love is greater than any seas that I have made. My plans for you are for good, so rest in my grace."

This is why I praise Him with my whole heart, because He is far greater than the sum of what He created. Can you rest in Him too? There is always room at the cross. The Bible say, "For whosoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved". Tell Him all of your secrets and wrongdoings, and He will pardon. Ask Him to forgive, and He will say, I already have.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.  {Hebrews 12:28}

Can you imagine a wave like this coming down on your life? It could shake things up a bit, to be mild! This is where I'm at,  and maybe a few of those waves have hit me at the same time! Bills to be paid, kids to be schooled, spiritual lives that need to be straightened out, friends who need food, yes really! I love that God does give us more than we can handle, because we have no where to look but up! Do we run into His arms when things are milk-toast? no. Do we cling to His every word and allow Him to touch us deeply when everything is "nice"? no. Do we listen for His voice when everything is as it should be? no.

We can lay everything at His feet when "WE" can't handle the load ourselves. How do we get to this place, I ask myself? Oh, its because I didn't lay it at His feet when it was a tiny problem! thought would handle it! God never intended for us to bare the burdens of this life. We were made for the garden, in Genesis, not for this sin-soaked world.That is why even from Genesis God spoke of His Savior who would come to take our heavy loads.God told the serpent, " He, {meaning God's son} will bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Genesis3: 15b.

God sees the whole picture, and allows us to be squeezed so that only He will come out of us. Do you feel some hardship today? Maybe it has to do with the state of our State, or nation? Yes, it has been backwards for quite some time. God is ever more real and engaged in this earth's follies as He has ever been. He is closer to those who look for Him than ever before. Call upon Him right now!

Monday, July 4, 2016

"Loving God means loving people. You've got to love them both."   {1John4:21b}  MSG

This is my daughter Stephanie a few years ago. I think she is was about 11 years old. She was modeling for an agency in Smithtown, and we were traveling into Manhattan a lot that summer. This is a picture my niece, Kim took of her when we were visiting her in North Carolina; a much better picture with a natural smile.

It's easy to love a beautiful young girl who is sweet and kind, but when she turned 12, it seemed  as if "that"  girl disappeared. Don't get me wrong, " that"girl is in there somewhere. I see glimpses of her occasionally. I love her and tell her so all the time and I really mean it, but sometimes I wish for the girl who freely wrapped her arms around me without pretense. I pray that "that" girl will emerge on the other side of puberty unscathed, or even better!

God knows exactly what He is doing in her life, and how He will shape her for His honor and glory.We prayed for her before she was born. I especially prayed for her while she was in utero, because she was the child that I wasn't sure that I would have. I was 42, and there are 7 years between Stephie and my son Matt. I waited a long time for my second girl, and was wonderfully amazed that God answered my prayer for 2 girls and 2 boys.  I love her more now than when she was just a dream. I love her through all the crazies that girls have in their teens, and believe me, crazy is a calm word for a girl!
Can you love someone today who needs to know someone cares? Can you love a person who doesn't honor this July 4th as an important holiday? Loving God is especially important here on earth. Find those who need to know He cares. Have a safe and happy 4th.   love and Blessings, Ann

Friday, July 1, 2016

                                                                                                                           July 1, 2016

The Lord gave the word; Great was the company of those who proclaimed it:     {Psalm 68:11}

Here we are again, with my little sand piper friend. Do you  see the sunshine on the water? Without the sun the water looks dingy and dark, not lively like in this picture. The Son of God brings light, and joy where there once was only darkness. The only thing that held me back from the light when I was depressed was me own belief. I believed that God's grace was not sufficient to reach me in my dungeon. I chose to believe a lie, because I was so far down, I didn't think God "wanted" to touch me.

God says He will never leave us or forsake us! I knew that scripture, but I thought I was the exception. This was a lie from the enemy of our souls. God's word is to be proclaimed! It is to be respected, and it is strong enough for us to stand on! Proclaim it loud and clear, and then watch and  be amazed with what He will do in your life!