Wednesday, November 11, 2015

a broken spirit running with blinders... conditioned for His prize

Jesus is all I need.  I really do believe this.  But sometimes I forget and do not live like it.  I stress over the big things, the little things... everything!  I fear and worry.  I want, and want, and want.  But if I were to be honest with myself, I rarely ever find myself in need.  I mean really hard-core NEED!  For God always supplies, doesn't He?  Maybe not exactly the way I want Him to.  Maybe not in the timing I'd expect or in the method I'd prefer... but He always comes through.  He always protects, always cares, always gives.  God always loves me.  What an incredible Master who loves His servant more than the life of His own Son.  Who freely offers full adoption into His household and knights those who believe in Him with every blessing and title attached to His Mighty Name.  Astounding.

What really matters is being close to Jesus.  Being near Him.  Staying open to receive His boundless love, and banking on His hopeful future.  Learning and obeying His Word.  Seeking Him in every circumstance.  I know this.  And yet, too often I find myself stuck in a self-made prison of doubt, fear, defeat.  I forget His higher Ways as I focus on my lower worries.  Why?  Because the enemy distracts my eyes away from God's vision.  Rather than give thanks for every gift, I set my short-term sight on greed, lust, pride.  Ugh, pride.  My pride pushes me to look away from God and toward false comforts and fake promises.  And I love me my comforts.  For the sake of comfort, I have bought into so many fake promises "guaranteeing" safety, security, fullness, peace.  But without God, there can be no peace.  So, inevitably I stumble in my selfishness.  I fall down and feel my heart break once again for my Creator, my Savior, my Teacher, my Redeemer.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar. (Psalm 51)

Some horses must wear blinders.  Blinders are a pair of small screens attached to a horse's bridle to prevent it from seeing sideways or behind.  Many astute riders depend on blinders to keep a horse on-track, on-course, on-point.  It channels a horse's vision and cuts down on the scope of their natural sight, producing a potent effect on an anxious horse accustom to seeing and reacting to everything that is around him.  Not every horse runs with blinders, mind you.  Some are more developed and inclined to block out distracting sights and sounds.  I, however, am not such a horse.  I am easily distracted, it seems, at every twist and turn.  In fact, I am quite capable of slowing down and wandering off my intended course.  Because of this, I need the blinders of Christ's Spirit protecting my eyes.  I need to solely focus on the restoration and joy of His salvation.  I must willingly rejoice in His unfailing love without compromise.  For I cannot run my best without His veil of peace over me.  I cannot win this race without His compassion and help.  I cannot live pure, or steadfast, or justified without Jesus's Name clothing my whole being... my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Only with Him guiding me forward, will I win.  His Way is all that matters.  He is all I need.

My natural sight easily paves a path into sin.  Alone, I am corrupt, lost.  But my new life and vision in Christ exposes the full and complete compassion and love of Jesus.  He gives.  He provides.  He loves.  He conditions me for MORE!  In His Name, I am a running purebred with a broken spirit.  So today, my sacrifice, O God, is a broken contrite heart that You will not despise.  Today, I choose to run with Your blinders on so that I might be trained to win.  Please keep me focused and thankful, dear Lord.  Stay close to me and help me to overcome because You already overcame!  Yes, help this old mare to run well, run hard, run deliberate, and run with full vigor and thankfulness in order to glorify Your perfect Name.  For all I really need is YOU leading me!

All I really need forever is Jesus!!!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Saturday, November 7, 2015

keeping our lips filtered with His holiness

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3)

All too often the Holy Spirit must remind me mid-sentence what words I am allowing out of my mouth...
What under breath comments and harsh tones I am capable of blurting out and, even worse, believing are fully justifiable and warranted.

Yes, it is natural to grumble.
It’s easy to passively (and sometimes not so passively) express hatred when we blurt out snide comments of discontentment to those within earshot.

You see, people (especially the one’s we love most)... well, they can really annoy us, can’t they?
They don’t always care about what we care about.
They don’t always do things the way we want done and for reasons we think important.
So yes, people can get on our last nerve.
So much so, that our love for them can seem downright schizophrenic when it comes to our words.
For when others irritate us, we usually say so.
We share our thoughts.
We say our peace.
But is it peace?
Is it really God’s defined peace that we are sharing?
Do our words accurately represent His holiness... or do they represent our own selfishness?
Have we forgotten to filter our lips not only with His truth, but with His perfect love, respect, and sacrifice?

I find it interesting that so many Christians (myself included) are more than eager to criticize and negatively complain about any given topic, but falter when it comes down to actually uplifting, evangelizing, and sharing God’s love.
Is this how our voices are to be used to represent the Savior?
Absolutely not!
We are to love others as if we were actually loving ourself.
We are to give them the benefit, share with them the truth, pray for them, honor and respect them, and most importantly extend to them the consistent and never-ending love of Christ!

So, dear readers, today I implore you (and myself!) to please think before you speak.
Be deliberate and thoughtful in Jesus' Name before choosing to be vocal.
And most importantly, use your words to uplift and promote His kingdom... what, in God's economy, really matters:

Whatever is true.
Whatever is noble.
Whatever is right.
Whatever is pure.
Whatever is lovely.
Whatever is admirable.
And ANYTHING excellent or praiseworthy...

Yes, think about these things!  Speak about these things!  Encourage these things and let the love of the Lord be showcased again and again and again!

Heavenly Father, set a guard over our mouths and watch over how we communicate in your Name.
May our words always be pleasing to your ears.
May our voice be your voice as we strive to represent your holiness and love always!

This is the day to joyfully and gladly be His blessing!



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Friday, November 6, 2015

the path of the righteous

The Time: Fall 2001

The Place: Fort Walton Beach, Florida

The Occasion: Business/Mini-Romantic Get-Away Trip

The Participants: Chuck and Victoria Anderson

The Mission: A few customer sales visits, eating as much seafood as humanly possible, and relaxing on the powder white sands of the Gulf Coast together.

Chuck had flown in from business out of New York.
I had flown in from Chicago.
We met in Atlanta's airport.
Once reunited, we took a short flight together to Fort Walton's airport anxious to start our "Romantic Get-Away" trip.

Chuck arranged everything in advance: beachfront hotel, upgraded rental car, primo restaurants, etc.
It was an impromptu vacation that we were very much looking forward to since we hadn't been together in over two weeks.

Once in Florida, we held hands and casually rolled our suitcases to our favored rental car vendor and picked up a brand new Buick Rendezvous. For those of you unfamiliar with the old Buick Rendezvous, it was a "crossover car" made for consumers who wanted the cargo carrying capacity and elevated seating of an SUV but who never planned to take the vehicle off the pavement. Because of this, the Rendezvous was developed as a front-wheel drive SUV that drove similar to a standard car, just higher.

With gooey-gum-drop eyes filled with love and anticipation for the romantic time we would soon have together, Chuck thoughtfully loaded our luggage pieces into the vehicle, opened/closed my door (like the gentleman he always is), and proceeded to show me a map with the fastest route to our beachfront hotel. It was a magical time... the beginning of our mini-vacation of LOVE! WOO HOO! We drove onto the highway - my husband taking charge as "acting pilot" of the vehicle while I assumed the role of his faithful "co-pilot". We breathed in the glorious fresh air and acted like newlyweds who had just left for their honeymoon, laughing and enjoying one another's company while driving to our resort destination.

I was so excited to be with MY MAN. Sure, I knew Chuck would fit in one or two customer sales visits during this trip, but that would allow me some time alone to enjoy a great novel by the pool or get a manicure. One thing was certain, this was going to be a FUN vacation together!

In 2001, navigation systems were not yet mainstream in rental vehicles. So as we drove along, we relied upon our map to get us safely to our hotel. Since I was acting co-pilot,  I was in charge of navigation.  Now admittedly, I am not the most adept at giving directions or reading maps, and I was distracted by the beautiful shoreline and dreamy expectations of our time now together. So, when we neared the resort, I failed to pay attention to the path we were on and missed telling Chuck when to turn. This resulted in us overshooting the entrance to our hotel. No biggie, right? Easily correctable.

Chuck found a nearby souveneir shop and pulled in so that he could turn our vehicle around. Once in the parking lot, we both realized that we could actually see our hotel from behind the shop. In fact, the only thing separating the two buildings was a small sand dune.... but the road entrance was back the way we originally came from. Suddenly the proper entrance seemed too far away to my husband, and without thought, he impulsively decided to "gun it" toward the sand ahead.

As I remember the next few moments playing out, it seemed as if life began to move in slow motion. For in this instance of impulse, my husband had forgotten that he was behind the wheel of a vehicle unintended for off-roading. On the other hand, I immediately remembered that the Rendezvous was not a four-wheel drive SUV and panicked... I quickly yelled out in desparation, "Noooooo!" But alas, the deed was already done. As the tires hit the soft earth beneath us, we both instantly knew it was too late. We were stuck. Really stuck. Worse yet, the more Chuck spun the tires, the deeper the car sank into the sand... and the farther we felt from the hotel and each other.

In the end, we were able to contact a towing service who came to our rescue... but at a very high cost. After what seemed like hours, we were finally able to check into the hotel. The same hotel that we viewed from only a few feet away while stuck in the sand for hours. Finally, we were back on track and following the original plan. But my lack of attention to insure that we were on the correct path followed by Chuck's impulse to take the "easy" way to our hotel, cost us a lot of time and money and hindered our happy adventure together.

Proverbs 4:25-27 says, "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."

How often in our Christian walk do we look away from God? Sure, we know He has a planned path for us and are truly thrilled in anticipating eternity with Jesus, but sometimes Satan distracts us with attractive earthly scenery and selfish expectations and desires. We become so distracted that we stop focusing our full attention on God's Word - our map. Then, we slowly lose sight of where we should be and fall away from Christ's call. Before we know it, we find ourselves in the wrong place. The only way to get back to God is to stop, admit our mistake, turn from our sin, and change our course so that we are back on track seeking His way.

How often in our Christian walk do we try to take an alternate, easy route? Sure, we know our way is not the same as His instructed way, but we think we can get there on our own... so why not go for it? Then, before we can correct the mistake, we find ourselves knee-deep in unlevel ground, sinking from our sinful decision... STUCK! The only way out, is to call on God for help and let Him rescue us and take over correcting the mess we have made.

"The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come." ~Matthew Henry

"Listen, my son (daughter), accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. (Proverbs 4:10-15)

Let us be wise and follow God's Word.
Let's guard our hearts and focus on His ways rather than impulsively running in our own direction.
Let's not stumble or hamper our steps and waste precious time recovering from our own sinful mistakes.
Let's not get stuck in sin.
Rather let's protect ourselves from the ways of the wicked and set our feet on His solid, level ground.
This is our life... let's always seek Jesus with joy and perseverance as we strive to live it well.

The Time: NOW

The Place: HERE


The Participants: YOU

The Mission: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I'm engaged to be married!

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5)

Did you hear?
I'm engaged to be married!
I've met the most wonderful man who really loves ME!
In fact, He loves me more than He loves His own life!
Our story is so incredible too.
Would you like to hear it?
OK, let me share it with you....

I was at my most hopeless state.
Alone... defeated... stuck in the rut of my own self.
In fact, I was just SICK of myself... you know, with my shame and the sin.
I dated around, but all the guys I met were losers.
You know the type - promises promises promises.
Everything had to be on their terms.
And, ugh - the egos!
In fact, the last one I dated... I think he thought of himself as some kind of god or something!
He was a noisy, clanging symbol of garbage that My Father would NEVER have approved of irrespective of my own problems!

Then, miraculously, HE showed up... and He was perfect.
I couldn't believe He would even look at me because I was such a mess and had hung out with so many other messes.
But He saw past that.
He didn't care.
He just loved me.
Let me tell you, there is nothing better than knowing that you are loved, irrespective of your past!
I was in shock.
Could this be real?
Could this glorious Man be trusted?
Or was He like the others who promised but never delivered?
I had to find out.

When He understood my reservations, He suggested I measure Him up against all the other "wanna-be's" out there.
He has always been a gentleman and very honest with me.
In fact, in the beginning of our relationship He laid out exactly where He stood on all matters and what He knew to be right.
All the promises He has every made me... he has kept.
It has been unbelievable, wonderful.
The more He has revealed about Himself to me, the more trustworthy I see that He is.
I can't help but want to love Him!
Finally, I told Him that I wanted only HIM with all my heart.
No one else could ever compare!
This was TRUE LOVE!!!

So, now I've accepted His proposal for a new life together!
I can't believe it.
It's like a fairy tale to think that one day, I will be HIS bride!!!
When I think about it, I get so excited and have to sing about how thrilled I am to all the world...
I'm engaged!!!
To the KING!

Oh, didn't I mention that?
Yes, He's the King.
I'm engaged to THE KING!
And He loves me.
He pursues me.
He cherishes me.
I really need to thank Him for loving me so much.

Anyway, did you know that He is so in love with me that He has offered EVERYTHING in His kingdom for me to enjoy?
We have nothing between us.
In fact, right now He is preparing our new home together.
I am so excited!!!
I know he won't spare any expense or luxury.
I know he is very particular that I receive only the best He has!
He is so kind to me.
And sweet too.
He continually reminds me in the silliest ways how much He loves me.
He's such a romantic.
Did you know that just this morning, he gave me the most gorgeous sunrise?
Then he covered the whole earth with His glory so that I could see how much he cares about me.
No matter how busy, He always takes the time to bless me with His love.

I love being in love!

There is still that old boyfriend of mine who just can't take NO for an answer though.
He is a pain that I must endure until I'm finally reunited with my True Love!
You know how hard it is to shake an old stalker-ex???
Let me tell you, it isn't easy!
But my Honey is aware of the matter and promises me that if I follow His instructions, I will be safe. So, follow Him I will.
I know that even though we aren't physically together right now, my Love has made every provision to make sure I am protected, nurtured, blessed and cared for under His authoritative reign.
Boy, that makes is so much easier to relax when Mr. Old Boyfriend keeps calling!!!

So now, I'm using this time apart from my Love to get as gorgeous as I can.
I want to be ready for Him on our wedding day.
For example, I have so many things I still must learn about His kingdom.
I want to please Him with how much I truly know about Him.
To honor Him, I want to be the best bride possible.
He's a great role model for me to follow since He has taught me all about true LOVE.
So, I'm modeling myself after how He lives.
It is so exciting!
I can hardly contain my enthusiasm!!!
I just want to kiss Him, and love Him, and be with Him FOREVER!!!
He is just the BEST!

Oh sweet Jesus, take me away with YOU!
Let's hurry to our wedding day!
I'm so excited!!!

So anyway, that's my awesome news!
But wait.... did I hear a rumor that you were engaged too? (Wink!)

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah. (Psalm 62:8)

I must confess, my heart hurts today.
My eyes are teary this hour.
My stomach feels as if it has been punched.
Why, you ask?

Well, yesterday my family and I had to make the hard decision to put down our sweet kitty of 16 years.
Her failing kidneys had finally gotten the better of her.
In only a short period of time, her little frame had dropped a lot more weight.
We knew it was time.
Our vet confirmed it was time.
So goodbye, sweet Valentine...

As my whole family struggles to get used to this new reality, we are in agreement concerning one definitive truth...
Death sucks!
Seriously... it just sucks!
Mind you, for me it isn't so much the dying part that is hardest to absorb.
Rather, it is the forced goodbye that we must endure while watching someone we love no longer exist in our same realm.
I hate that goodbye.
I hate that feeling of loss and the physical separation from someone I have cared deeply for.

In my life, I have been forced to say many goodbyes to people and pets.
I am quite familiar with the feelings that accompany dying.
The isolation.
The remoteness.
The solitude that lingers as I am left behind to live out the rest of my days without their presence.

As a human, I personally know the lasting hope and/or the bitter misery that can accompany another person's passing.
For the outcome of our death is always dependent upon one's choice to receive or deny Jesus as Savior.
Either Jesus is our God or someone/something else is selfishly substituted in His place.

Every conclusion of human life will summarize WHO that person chose to make first.
Jesus or Self?
Success or failure?
Sadness or rejoicing?

In seeing both decisions made by people I care for, I've experienced my share of celebration and sorrow when saying goodbye to loved ones who have passed.
I've understood that some of death's forced goodbyes are only temporary...
And some, sadly, are not.
(The "not's" are when death sucks the most.)
(The "not's" are when I lean on the sovereignty of my Maker and trust that His ways are higher than my own.)

All that said, Valentine's passing yesterday has caused me to think about something more than death...
My little kitty's exit from this earth forced me to consider the concept of "time" itself.
For in one moment Valentine was alive...
And in the next, she was gone.
The only thing separating her life from her death was time.
The quiet tic-tock of the clock was the distinguishing factor that determined her existence vs. her nonexistence.

Valentine's death has caused me to think deeply about my own life.
About my God, and about the time that has been ordained especially for me to exist.
For God created all time when He created the world.
He made it so that mankind could take note of seasons, days, years.
And as a result, in the world's timeline, our Heavenly Father has prescribed a certain amount of time for each person to individually live out their days.... a lifetime, if you will.
He has destined for us to be alive at this very point in earth's history.
Because of this we can surmise that we are here, now, for a very specific and individually planned purpose according to His will.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. (Genesis 1:14-16)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity." (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

The good news is, God is not limited by time, but rather in control of it.
I am alive today, because He planned it.
I am here writing this blog to you on His schedule.
I have and will experience many more trials and joys over the course of my lifetime - all because God has approved what will occur and when it will occur in my life.

Yes, I am the recipient of His grace to LIVE.
And in this life, I am called to live wisely and for His glory.
Sure, I could choose to disobey His purpose.
I could separate myself from Him with sin.
I could choose to reject and deny Him as a holy, perfect King.
But that doesn't mean He isn't God.
My choice will not change the fact that He knows what will occur and will use it to be glorified and honored.
I cannot change His ultimate headship or plan.
For every moment belongs to Him, and He will use my obedience (or disobedience) to serve His kingdom.
All His creation will follow His supreme rule.
That just makes sense, doesn't it?
For what kind of King would set up a kingdom He couldn't ultimately rule?
What kind of Potter does not mold His clay into His planned vision?
So, whether mankind accepts their Maker or not... God will still be God, folks!
And we cannot function healthy without Him!

Fortunately, He is a good and just King and will wisely advance His kingdom while blessing those who love and follow His ways.
Ultimately, there will be no life without God.
We cannot exist without His presence.
When I consider all this, I always think, "How great is our Almighty Father in Heaven!?"
I cannot fathom His omnipotence and omniscience!
For despite our decision to love or hate the One who must be praised...
His love for us is unmeasurable!
In fact, He loves us more than Himself.
For He sent His only Son to secure us a place in His home.
We are offered everlasting life in His presence!
He lovingly gives Himself (for He is the gift of LIFE) to every person on earth, and will continue to do so until the end of days.

All God desires is to be close and intimate with mankind.
All God longs for is our complete devotion and affection!
All God wants is for us to enjoy the very best He could possibly offer - Himself!
He knows that there is nothing better for us than His goodness and blessing.
Yes, all God has planned for our lifetime... for our eternity... is His true love!

All God has given is ALL God, ladies...

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:1-16)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. (1 John 4:9)

Once we realize God's goodness and look at "time" in terms of being completely connected and completely devoted to Him, the limitations of earthly moments become cloudy and irrelevant.
Only HE becomes clear and worthwhile.
Only HE proves important.

When I focus on His presence and the authority He holds, the past and future do not seem to be such a concern.
The details are more for Him to work out.
For He is my refuge and strength.
He is an ever-present help in times of trouble.
No past mistake or sad experience can separate me from His love.
No deliberation or worry over comfort, plans, or any future event or outcome could overshadow the glory He has in store for those who love and seek after Him.

When I surrender my life to the loving presence of this Master, He is all that matters.
Death does not hold it's sting.
Sin cannot enslave me in defeat.
For all my life... all my time... all my eternity is safe in His capable hands.
No hour will pass if He has not sanctioned it.
No moment is without His rule.

Whatever HAS happened and whatever WILL happen are not as important as WHO I have placed all my trust in right now.
WHO is in control.
WHO is the same yesterday, today and forever!

Jesus is all I need.
He is WHO my faith rests upon.
He is WHO I must follow... no matter what.
All seasons belong to Him.
All time is always His.

The death of my kitty, Valentine, has made me wonder what echos my own life will produce in the halls of God's kingdom.
Today, I consider the "now" of my time on this planet, and the urgency of God's presence in this day.
For this is the day to honor His headship as King and praise Him for His sovereign rule.
This is the time to seek His holy and righteous glory...
To live joyful in His hope.
To trust His perfect purpose and infinite love.
Friends, this is the time to live out our faith...

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Life is really nothing without the love of the LORD.
Time is really useless without His presence.
It is not about what we want, or get, or experience.
No, the blessing now and forevermore is in WHO we serve.
Joy is found only in WHO has saved us.
The glory is in WHO we place all our trust.

So, as I mourn this hour...
I also rejoice in His unfailing love.
He will use all things for good.
He will turn today's sorrow and tears into everlasting joy.

Yes, Jesus is all I need.
He is WHO my faith rests upon.
He is WHO I must follow... no matter what.
All seasons belong to Him.
All time is always His.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah. (Psalm 62:8)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, November 2, 2015

the love of One

In a world where relentless, sinful men devise to take take take from me,
It's nice to know the love of One who gives gives gives for free.

While others try to benefit their bank accounts and fame,
My Jesus humbly intercedes and shares His Holy Name!
The greedy scream and shout their lust with pushy, self-demands,
But my God's still, small voice of truth remains the strongest place to stand.
Surrounded by excessiveness and hype spun out of control,
I'm thankful for all I'll ever need is the Savior who saves my soul.

Yes, in a world where relentless, sinful men devise to take take take from me,
It's very nice to know the love of One who gives gives gives for free.

Thank you, my generous King.
I am blessed in every breath with Your unfathomable, eternal love!

And he said unto me, It is done. 
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. 
I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 
(Revelation 21:6)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson