Saturday, November 25, 2017

we love because he first loved us

We love because he first loved us.  (1 John 4:19)

My shelter is secure, dry, spacious, furnished.

My bed is warm, plush, and elevated off the ground.

I have clean water, indoor plumbing, electricity, fuel, refrigeration, and a means to safely prepare and cook food.

My pantry is stocked.
My tummy is full.
I am hydrated.

I have clothes for every occasion and shoes in many styles.
I am bathed and clean.
I am groomed and adorned.

I can walk.
I can travel.
I have a personal means of transportation.
I can easily frequent medical facilities, food and grocery sources, community services, supply stores, and entertainment locations.

I can read, write, speak, think, see, hear, comprehend.
I have a telephone, computer, and Internet access, and can use them just about everywhere I go.

I live in a country that allows me to vote, protest, campaign, and defend.

I can worship freely.
I can pray publicly.
I own a complete, printed and bound copy of the Holy Bible.

By all accounts, I am rich.
I have been given.
I am blessed.
I am loved.
(Thank you, Jesus!)

So, in thankfulness, in humility, in kindness, in hope, in faith...

I will give, and bless, and love in turn.
I will love because my great God first loved 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  (John 3:16-17)

So, how about you?

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
(1 Timothy 6:17-19)


Happy Holidays!


© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

bringing our best to better one another... bringing our best for God's glory and honor

Yesterday was another day at the doctor for Momba and me.  We waited over two hours and past normal closing hours to meet with our orthopedic specialist, Dr. Chimenti.  Yes, I typed over two (2) hours.  Now some of y’all would complain about that long of a wait at any doctor, and I do understand your concern.  But before you judge or scoff, let me tell you a little something about Dr. Chimenti...

Sweet Dr. Chimenti (and his loyal staff) give as much time necessary to thoughtfully address every single one of his patient’s concerns.  He is the best at what he does.  He never rushes or assumes anything.  Rather, with a humble and kind demeanor he listens, assesses, and prescribes accordingly and exclusively - working thoughtfully within his scope to individually help every person that visits his practice.  He gives his all and the satisfaction of his clientele definitely shows.  In fact, Momba and I regularly kid with him that instead of leaving a straight-lined surgical scar after someone has undergone one of his full knee replacement surgeries, he should instead make the scar read “Chimenti” on their leg... like a fashion designer who would sign a beautiful piece of wearable art.  ROFL.

Anyway, whenever we go to see Dr. C., we don’t mind the wait because we know that he is hearing and helping others as we also would want to be treated. Seriously, what a testimony, right!???  What a royal honor to truly love others through the blessed work found in each and every occupation!  To use the talents and gifts that God has personally granted each of us, and to do so without selfishness or hurry.  How refreshing to see someone bring their best to better and encourage the health of others.  Wonderful!

While waiting, Momba and I used our time to catch up and encourage one another.  We walked down memory lane and counted so many blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us both individually and as a family, especially since moving to Texas.

And as we waited for Dr. C., our time together actually felt like healing medicine.  Salve to our souls, if you will.  Love in the simplest of everyday moments while we reminisced and looked ahead to a hope-filled future.  And this got me thinking...  How much time do each of us actually invest in recognizing God in His full praiseworthy glory?  And, how often do we speak about Him to one another?

Sure we are all busy with agendas and schedules.  We work.  We shop for groceries.  We study.  We socialize.  We watch tv.  We surf the Internet.  We rush rush rush in our rushing hours and zone out in our time off zones. But are we deliberate with each gift and talent, using them in gracious humility to worship our Creator and help one another?  Do we consider our lives as a valuable means to spread His healing medicine throughout all Creation?  For who on Earth doesn’t crave His love and encouragement?  Who wouldn’t benefit from His important command:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Do we strengthen and share our very best?  Do we honor the Lord and encourage the betterment and well being of others?  Do we prioritize our days toward His good?  Do we regularly take as much time needed with one another to pause and proclaim with gifted breath, “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty.”  Isn’t that most important?  Seriously... the angels are saying it non-stop right now.  They have proclaimed it throughout the duration of our lifetime.  They will continue to announce it forevermore.  So, let’s view the value of our time and talents in the light of God’s accomplished, eternal hope, folks.  For this is the day to rejoice and be glad in Him!

I encourage y’all, please make it your goal to humbly and selflessly think on these things.  It is definitely worth our time and effort to love one another and to give God all honor and glory as we fulfill our purpose in every new day.  What you do is important.  How you use your time matters.  Who you are is evidenced by how you live.  So, live for Jesus!  Live for His holiness and love love love!

God bless us, everyone!



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

feeling balanced... or knowing God's peace?

I didn’t write in October.  I didn’t paint either.  I didn’t garden.  I didn’t bake.  Frankly, I didn’t do much of much in the whole entire month.  What I did do was attend to my chronic pain issues and highlight in my Bible.  I healed and highlighted hard, folks.  I paused and purposefully allowed my wounded frame a time to rest alone with the Great Physician and Helpful Healer.  My focus solely directed onto His Holiness.  My attention strictly centered around His Truth.

Sometimes it is best to pause.  Sometimes it is favorable to not only remove the distracting noise and hustle-bustle of the day, but to also free ourselves of the personal goals, talents, and hobbies that we usually aspire toward.  You see, sometimes “throwing off every weight” includes our forte’s.  For when human enjoyments overshadow Christian purpose - Christ’s call for us to love and disciple others to His Kingdom - well, then we must obediently take care to reset our affections in reverent humility toward the Lord.

This was my October.

In the month, the Lord kept asking me to trust and give up.  To let go of “me” in order to gain more of Him.  Not easy.  Not something I excel at.  For yes, I trust the Lord.  I believe His truth and promises.  I know He is God.  I am confident that He is able, eternal.  Yes, He is King.  And yet, even with this knowledge and belief, I still cling onto “me” by chaining myself to the anxiety that surrounds what is still unknown.  Yes, I know God will supply all my needs... but I stress in the details as to “how” He will supply.  “How” will He prove faithful.  “How” will He care for me me ME!


In this silent, selfish panic as I attempt to control knowing His “how’s”... I foolishly trade peace for plenty:  Plenty of play.  Plenty of comfort...  Plenty of what makes me think I feel more balanced...

But here’s the thing y’all...

Is my whole purpose in life about feeling balanced?  Or is my whole created existence about being centered around loving and sharing the glory and salvation of Jesus Christ?  (BTW, I'm not sure I've heard of anyone who felt like they kept their balance doing the latter.)

Furthermore, will every hobby or personal pursuit in writing, painting, gardening, baking, exercising, socializing, working, decorating, etc., etc., etc.... will these activities stable me into completeness, wholeness, fullness.... balance?


In fact, balance is not the real answer.

Peace is.

And, despite what this world will have you believe, real peace does not generate from within but rather from above.

Peace is being in God's presence. Period.

And in His perfect peace, all our attentions/intentions become untangled as we faithfully enjoy holding the guiding hand of the Almighty... NO MATTER WHAT.

Peace is living in His holy presence as we receive His Kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Last week I was standing in line at the Post Office.  In front of me was a well-dressed-business-casual styled man standing quietly with his son.  His child (also dressed nicely) was no taller than the height of this man’s thigh.  The boy’s sneakers were the kind that lit up when he walked, and his hair was fashionably gelled and pushed into a more conservative version of a semi-Mohawk haircut. Neither spoke a word to each other the whole time they waited, but both were having fun.  They giggled and smiled whenever they looked at each another.  As they waited, the boy held onto his dad’s leg and made silly playful faces.  His proud father always kept a hand on his son in some endearing way... rubbing his shoulder, tussling his hair, high-fiving at the best funny face-makings, holding him steady and near.  Clearly, these two enjoyed and loved one another.  They were thrilled to be together.  And their wonderful infectious relationship could not be ignored by anyone standing nearby.  However, while watching them interact, The Holy Spirit reminded me to recognize that this father was indeed the leader of the two... the overseer, the one in control of their day together.  And his son, who was really a "mini-me" version of his dad, was obviously loved, clothed, and cared for tremendously... even when his father was standing silently nearby... even when they were just waiting.

How wonderful to live as well-loved, clothed, and cared for children of the Most High God who richly styles us in His Glory and lights our path with His Living Word.  Yes, when we obediently hold onto the Almighty Father and King, His peace surpasses all earthly understanding and we are made whole.  His holy majesty blesses and attends to us, for He is a good Father.  He loves us most.  Tightly and obediently beside Him, He will always keep His hand on us - holding us close and upright as we walk together.  He handles every detail of every day and rejoices when we resemble His image.  His approval is our greatest joy.  We would be foolish to get lost or distracted away from Him.  For we benefit in His company the most.

Friends, when God is close, we are free to be His best!  But we must choose His Holiness first - before our “me’s”.  We must wisely throw off everything that hinders and lay aside everything that weighs us down from being with Him.  Consider: what is keeping you from being with Him?

With perseverance, we are invited to fix our eyes on His eyes.  To enjoy His company and walk His path.  To joyfully take on His style and stature while trusting Him through all storm and silence.

Yes, sometimes it is best to pause and reset our affections in reverent humility toward the Lord.  For true peace lives only in God's holy presence.

I pray that we each may know and love Him intimately.

God bless us, everyone!



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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