HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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A Relationship with God * His Grace.


GraceGrace:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. In accordance with his pleasure and will – Ephesians 1:4-5

Grace is a huge subject and one I am very careful with. Why, you ask?

Because right now Grace is the “BIG, NEW” thing in Christian “revelation”; and I am concerned about how the message of Grace is being taught in some circles.

Quite frankly there is NOTHING new about God’s grace and God’s grace is BIG! Grace holds the same tremendous message as it did when Jesus came here as man, and so much more!

Jesus was God’s grace. Jesus is Grace. Jesus extends Grace.

We were extended God’s grace in the man of Jesus. We are to extend God’s grace to others. We are to show God’s grace in the fruit of our lives.

See … there is so much more than we can fathom in one small and beautiful word.

Grace is about Relationship.

{for this post I was lead to the relationship with God that we receive through grace}

Like I said Grace is so many things. Such a broad canvas, but it began with God and His desire for relationship … with us.

RelationshipGrace was sent and Grace chose us before the creation of the world! Do you realize what that means? God created this world for us. So we would have a place to live and be with Him! By His Grace, and for His pleasure and will He created us to be Sons of God! And to secure that in it’s most pure and holy form God sent His only Son for us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

That’s it. That’s the Grace we are all talking about. We didn’t deserve it. We don’t deserve it. It’s simply that God loves us.

ALL.OF.US.EVERYONE.

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

THAT.NONE.SHOULD.PERISH.

You see, I’m a Christian. A follower of Christ on a mission to do what Jesus did and more. I’m here to show you grace. To give you grace. And to point you to the person Grace, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am no longer lost. I have attained grace and the eternal life Jesus extended to me. It is now my job to let you know this …

By God’s grace He loves you. Right where you are. And too much to leave you there!

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been. He chooses YOU. Right Now. Right Here.

Have you accepted the gift of Grace? Have you accepted the Grace that is Jesus Christ? Do you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and sickness? Do you believe that He rose again to reconcile God’s relationship with you and for you?

If your answer, today, is YES, then you’ve entered into the Grace.

The Grace that is the Love of God. Jesus.

Welcome to the journey, there is much to do and learn, and you are not alone. There are many of us here with you … come let us walk with Jesus.

If you have any questions, please, I would be happy to share this truth with you personally. You can contact me through the comments or personally at: romans826-28@comcast.net

Thanks for reading my friends. And blessings to you all.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


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So Be It. | 31Days:15 ~ Share with me today … I would love to pray with you!


Courageous & Dangerous Prayer

Courageous & Dangerous Prayer

This 31 day challenge has been just that, a challenge, on many levels.

  1. The Challenge to Write.
  2. The Challenge to eek out time to write.
  3. The Challenge to see if I can get people interested and directed to my blog.
  4. The Challenge to get healing scriptures into my heart, permanently.

That 4th challenge was the original challenge and should have been the focus. But that focus changed from getting God in to getting ME out there.

NOT.GOOD.

Social Media, whether it’s Facebook, Tumblr, Google or even WordPress and other blog venues can take over. Often times they cause us to focus on us essentially distracting us from what’s important around us!

Social Media overload! So I decided a few days ago to Slow Down … being that I do most of my work online a total disconnect is not an option … however a conscious slow down is.

So I set about, today, looking to refocus my sights on the original challenge. To get HEALING scriptures into my HEART; for my HEART and for my family. And I visited an old page of mine: A Very Courageous Prayer; Dangerous Even!

I originally saw this prayer on Ann Kroeker’s blog. She is awesome and so is her blog. Go check it out!

It contains a very significant prayer by John Wesley. Shared on the page. This prayer:

Dear God
I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt; Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low by thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. 

This prayer is a dedication to and a surrendering to God the Almighty. A prayer which allows the prayer to enter into total and intimate communion with the Father. I continue to see this prayer as courageous and dangerous to the prayer.

Why?

Because, have you, even you Christians, truly, honestly and transparently, REALLY, surrendered all to God? Do you, do I, even know what that complete surrender means? Have we counted the cost of this surrender, or the surrender that Jesus gave on the cross for us?

I know I must not have, because I still suffer illness and doubt in my body and mind. Only my Spirit is truly and completely surrendered because that happened instantly upon my asking for and receiving my salvation through Jesus Christ.

It’s a courageous prayer because it means giving up EVERYTHING. to God … and if you say the prayer and your heart is pure God will, instantly, make clear to you what you must give up, sacrifice, for this intimate communion with the Father.

It’s a dangerous prayer because it means giving up EVERYTHING. to God … and if you say the prayer and your heart is set and pure on this commitment He will require that you give to Him those things  that you are comfortable, happy, connected, with and to. And those things that you believe you need to survive; to serve Him and become who He intended you to be in His kindom.

Let’s face it anything we do that is dangerous takes courage. Living in this fallen world committed to Christ is courageous and dangerous. And it stands that anything we do that is courageous is dangerous to who we are right now, because it will ultimately change who we are and what we believe.

We ALL were born with a purpose, for the purpose of serving the Kingdom of God; and the Kingdom of God is in US. So why is this surrender so seemingly hard and sacrificial for us?

I don’t have that answer, yet.

In that post, written just over 3 years ago, I vowed to pray this daily. I don’t know when I stopped. I used to have a paper copy of it just under my laptop for praying each day. But I did stop praying it.

Well today, in the interest of zooming my focus for this life of mine, and this challenge, on God and healing, I am going to attempt to use this prayer and more prayer, to strengthen that vow I gave to God and myself so many years ago. I honestly believe that I must offer myself more to God to receive this Manifest Healing I seek.

So tell me, Sweet Reader, what prayer are you saying today. What areas do you need to surrender to God to truly be healed today? Share with me, I would love to pray with you.

Thank You for Reading. Andrea

Thank You for Reading.
Andrea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

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31 Days!

31 Days!

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family and Forgiveness and Thankfulness


Today, Day 4 of my year of thankfulness I find that God is doing something dynamic in my family.

And I am thankful.

Snowflake-Pictures-11

I’ve learned this year … specifically the last few months, a new importance of family.  I’ve learned that life is much too short to keep waiting to tell them that you love them. It’s too short to not forgive; think about it, we probably don’t even really remember what made us pull away due to having exaggerated it in our minds.

Awhile ago I wrote a very dark poem/short story about resentment personified, essentially it described what resentment does in a spirit when it is given free reign. And in the world today resentment has free reign, it’s sad. And yes, I indulged, for many, many years.

But this year I have doubled back and have begun to forgive and kill that resentment. It’s all about perspective.

Family … ofttimes it is within the family that this resentment breeds, generation upon generation.

Family … the remedy for this generational curse is Forgiveness!

In the book I just got, The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp she says:

“Because in the time of the prophets and kings, the time of Mary and Joseph, it wasn’t your line of credit, line of work or line of accomplishments that explained who you were. It was your family line. It was family that mattered. Family gives you context, and origin gives you understanding, and the family tree of Christ always gives you hope.”

And thanks to our Pastor taking us completely through those books as a study, over the last 3 years, I know that in those days, so long ago, the families were just like us! Fights, dysfunction, wars and deaths and addictions and adultery … we’ve really not come that far. They were humans and functioned as such … which is why God put aside His divinity and entered into a virgin womb to become like us … so that He could reconcile us back to Him!

He did this … He grew in a woman to be born into a fallen world to understand and love us, unconditionally. And so that we would choose Him … it was all for us. It was all for love and family.

He came for me, for you, in my brokenness, in my rebellion and dysfunction and He lovingly coaxed me to Him. Stood by me in my sin and held me in my tears … He held me while I lay in a tight fetal ball, abused and neglected and He held me in the dark and horrible nights after I had begun to seek that same abuse and neglect outside of my family.

The least I can do is Forgive.

And then I come to tonight … after forgiving so many, to realize I must teach forgiveness to my children. I must teach them to forgive so that the remnants of bitterness and resentment leave our home permanently!

And then God … knowing that I was reaching this point in my growing, in my maturity of my Christianity, He blessed me.

My youngest and most church resistant child said to me tonight, “I think I’m going to go with you to church tonight, I don’t want to stay home alone.”

OM Goodness, the joy! I quietly said “Ok.” and just as quietly thanked God and Jesus and just rejoiced in my heart and spirit.

And it was this night that a very dear friend brought the message of God loving us no matter how we felt about ourselves, no matter what we’d done or were currently doing! And my boy actively listened.

For this I am eternally thankful!

I don’t know if God is blessing me directly for the forward movement in Christ this family is taking. I do know that He is actively reaching my youngest and healing has begun.

I do know that when we begin to obey the direction of the Holy Spirit within us big things begin to happen in our lives.

A recurring scripture this week in my life is:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! ~ 1 John 3:1

We are His children, He is our Father, we are His family … and what great love He has lavished! Being His children gives us context, knowing who we are in Christ gives us understanding and being in the family tree gives us hope.

I’d like to recommend this bookto you: The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.

Blessings.

 


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Day 1 – Thankful for the slow down & Day 1 of The Advent Season


Last month was 30 Days of Thankfulness in November on Facebook. I managed not to miss a post, even if I posted the next day! 🙂 And round about the second week I realized the concept of habit again; you know the one: anything done for 21 days becomes not only a habit, but a routine. And I was inspired to carry on with the recording of thankfulness on HOPEannFAITH and start it on December 1st!

Appropriately the first day of the Season of Advent.

Well, if there’s a habit in my life to perpetuate it definitely should be the act of recording my thankfulness and blessings. What do you think?

And then today, December 1st., a friend, thanks Mike 🙂  reminded me of the 21 days to routine …  confirmation? I think so.

So what am I thankful for … I’m thankful that with all the seeming ciaos in our lives; with Don being ill and what comes with that that God has actually slowed down my thinking about life. In all the hubbub I am seeing all that is wrong with the goings on in the world today … too much stuff, not enough time and a distancing from the things of God.

I am thankful for the slow down … which allows me to think about life and God and where our life and family are going with all of these internal God changes. And while we know the changes are God they are not comfortable; I mean how can cancer ever be comfortable. Yet, we are okay with the stretching and pulling … we are working this assignment from God. And in our obedience we are seeing reconciliations, we are able to sacrifice what we want for another more easily than before, and we are seeing and giving forgiveness to those we have held at arms length or more for years. It’s really quite exciting.

The assignment is to slow down and wait on God and to listen and act upon His direction.

Then last week I started thinking about how Christmas starts before Thanksgiving in the world we live in! Sadly society is definitely into gratification, much more than gratitude! They go from teaching the children to go house to house for candy … definitely a meme practice, while having a much deeper and more sinister meaning that tells us everything is about us and we should have what we want when we want; right to Candy Canes and a fictitious fellow who brings presents one night a year … again, everything is for me!

And that has not a thing to do with Christmas, as we well know.

So here we are, well into December 1st 2013, the first day of Advent!

Day-1 Advent

God, Adventure, Goodness, Life, Hope

by Joan Chittister

“Hope takes life on its own terms, knows that whatever happens God lives in it, and expects that, whatever its twists and turns, it will ultimately yield its good to those who live it well.”

You see it is not Christmas yet. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and that is not celebrated until the 25th of December.

Advent is what we are in on this day and the next 23. Advent means “the coming” or “waiting” … for us Christians Advent is the act of waiting for the coming, again, of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, we in Hutchland (what I call our home) will be slowing down, even further, for the preparation before the celebration of the birth of our Savior. We plan to focus on the entire season of the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.

For this pull from the Holy Spirit to slow down and focus on the Advent Season I am thankful.

And for you, my faithful friends, I am thankful.

Blessings.


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Peace when the hits keep coming …


“When it rains it pours ….”

A.Hutchinson Photography

A.Hutchinson Photography

I found myself posting that yesterday! So much like world thinking and it isn’t where I should be, how I should be responding to the ever compounding hits this family is taking. Yet we endure, we rise to Praise God again today. But it is disconcerting to see that when I am tired and worn down when another hit comes I respond from the flesh … I guess this shows me how much more work God and I have to do. Though, I guess I should be encouraged that I didn’t actually throw in the towel and toss it and the bathwater, with the baby, out the window. Happy that I didn’t blow my cork and just go straight back to the BC (before Christ) of who I used to be.

But God …

In the wake of cancer and family stresses and the death of loved ones I hear these words in my spirit …

❝ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.❞ ~ Philippians 4:6-8

We are not anxious, we are praying, fervently and in gratitude and God knows our requests before we ask. And we have been given the comfort of His peace and we do not understand how we feel it at all…

God is guarding our hearts and our minds through Christ Jesus.

This is my testimony today … our relationship with Jesus has secured this promise in our life, today. It is how we are enduring the ever increasing temperature of these trials we are going through. Praise God.

So when it rains … and it pours … and the thunder clouds threaten and the lightening flashes … we will not cower, we will not give in to our pain …

We will praise Him in the storm!


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Just a moment …


Not Perfect

Not Perfect

It has truly been a mean week; illness and hospitals, family life and home. Just one big whirlwind of one step in front of the other while praying and trusting God to guide me through, while being cradled in a grace bubble.

It’s amazing … I’ve been in a grace bubble before but remained numb and unable to function except by rote. Now, understanding more about God’s character and love for me, I’ve learned to be able to function in this peaceful place of His!

It has changed me … changed how I deal with stress.

Today the dam broke … a household situation arose and The Hubs, who was already bearing his silent weight in stress, had to come home from work (after just over an hour) to ensure things were safe.

Oh how I ache to see the strain on his face as he too learns to trust God’s provision instead of jumping in all hands and profanity to remedy a situation; while bursting with thankfulness that He is who God made Him to be and He’s working it, successfully! (I only hope I am as pleasing to Father as it Hubs!)

Just one more thing to add to the seemingly endless list of MUST DO … one more straw and the camel is wobbling … and we pray.

I look up … that’s where my help comes from [Psalm121] and silently pray from my heart and try not to allow the stress to overwhelm me; while simultaneously worrying about my husband and his honest and true heart for God and whether or not he will revert back, like so many times ….

that is fear.

STOP!

BREATH!

We settle the situation and off he goes back to work only to wait a half hour; and with the biggest, mushiest heart to call me to see if I’m alright … and my heart explodes and I’m thankful for this man of mine, that God gave to me.

I settle back and soak in praise … listening to videos in the background as I work, being thankful!

This is how I spend time with God; decompressing from the world and this life that sometimes just reaches out and grasps us in just a moment  …

Praising … exulting Him, knowing that no matter what I see, no matter what I hear or feel … He is in control and all that happens is for my benefit because I love Him and work according to His purposes.

So I thought I share a moment praising my God with you … in words and song. Giving Him the highest praise … singing and raising my arms and feeling His love fall upon us … as I reach that Peace that is Jesus, the peace He left us; not that false just for a moment of pleasure, temporary peace this world offers …

Rather the soft and refreshing bubble of grace that He envelopes us in when we softly speak His name in praise, when we ask Abba, Father, I need you more …

Blessings.

 


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Perseverance in Prayer … 22 of 31 Days of Focus


“Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.” Romans 8:7-8 MSG

But focusing on others in prayer is touching the heart of God!

A large part of this 31 day focus for me is praying for others … when we do this God is freed to repair what is broken and tattered within the prayer!

This focus thing is really taking off. And tonight I am trusting that …

God’s Mercies

I have a son who suffers an affliction that is trying it’s hardest to kill him. And any mother knows that to watch your child suffer is one of the worst tortures known to man.

He sat by me, like he never does, and I saw him small again, and I asked if he needed Mom and a single tear dropped as he shook his head while I told him I loved him no matter what … and THE hardest thing I’ve dealt with in a long time (including family issues, tornadoes and uprooted trees and health issues) is having my son be in enough pain to ask me for money to feed his affliction.

And as I said, quietly, NEVER! I entered into prayer for my son like no other time. It was calm, it was peaceful and it was continual.

As he left, in search of whatever he needed, with that threat that these afflicted souls always leave those who refuse the demon, I prayed hard still. Within minutes he was back, unsuccessful or may my heart be still, having reconsidered, without what he was in search of and he laid down and slept, fitfully slept, my tow headed, blue eyed boy!

So I go to bed praying, as throughout this night I will wake to the battle his body and mind is enduring and my reasonable duty to God and my son is to persevere in prayer as my boy perseveres in his fight, and hopefully his prayer.

I know from experience that even the unbeliever prays to God in such times. I hope … I pray he calls out to God now. Amen.

Blessings.

Welcome to 31 days – the beautiful brainchild of the Nester who inspires us to spend the month of October writing every single day on a topic that might inspire a community.
And I found it through Lisa-Jo Baker ~ tales from a Gypsy Mama
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