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A Vibrant Calm in the Storm

September 17, 2018

 …He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.    1 Samuel 3:18

 Hurricane Florence is still making her presence known. My cell phone alarm is continually giving me alerts that the storm is swirling all around, spinning off thunderstorms and tornadoes as well as flash floods. And this is the day, exactly one month following my diagnosis of breast cancer, when I go in for preoperative procedures before my surgery in the morning.

What I want to convey to so many of you who are praying is that the storms may be swirling around me, but they are not swirling within me. I have total peace. Joy. Expectancy. Trust. I know I am in God’s hands. I know also the reason for what I can only describe as a vibrant calm is that I am not only being carried by our Heavenly Father, I am being carried by your prayers. So before I know the outcome of the surgery, I want to praise the Lord for His great faithfulness, and also to say a heartfelt “thank you”…to you! Please continue to pray!

Below is a link to a song that I listened to this morning as I stretched and worked out. I pray it will bless you as it has me. My eyes are fixed on Jesus. Therefore, all is well.

IT IS WELL | Bethel Music

 

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MY CANCER: FUEL FOR THE FIRE

September 17, 2018 *new* | A Vibrant Calm in the Storm
September 10, 2018 Anne’s Interview with WRAL – Grateful for prayers during cancer battle
September 5, 2018  Please see update from Anne here or here.


September 4, 2018

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith…of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire…may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 1:6-7

What fuel has the Refiner added to the fire as He works to reveal Jesus in and through you? He has recently stoked the fire under me! I’m encouraged when I remember that when a refiner purifies gold, he melts it in a pot over the fire. He keeps turning up the heat until the dross, or impurities, rise to the surface. He then bends over the gold to skim off the dross, and continues doing so, until he can see his face reflected in the surface of the gold.

Gold being refined in the fire is a meaningful visual of the way God refines and purifies you and me.[1] He knows exactly how hot the fire needs to be in order to bring the impurities in our hearts, minds, and lives to the surface of our attention, enabling Him to skim them off, until He can see His own image reflected in us.

The Refiner has just added fuel to the fire in my life. On the afternoon of August 17, 2015, between 3:00 and 3:30, as you may know, I discovered my husband, Danny, unresponsive in our pool. Two days later he was Home! Three years to the day, on the afternoon of August 17, 2018, at the very same time of day…3:00 to 3:30…I was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I realized the strange “coincidence” of the timing, I came to the chilling conclusion that it was an assignment from the enemy.  But just as that thought was forming, I heard the soft, gentle whisper of the Spirit, reminding me that it was on a Friday, during that very same time…between 3:00 and 3:30 in the afternoon…that God’s Passover Lamb was sacrificed. Jesus died on the very same day of the week, at the very same time of the day, crushing the head of the serpent, forever defeating the devil and death.[2] Praise God! The cross…the blood of God’s Lamb…trumps anything the devil can throw at us or assign to us!

So I am left to worship and totally trust our God who is ultimately in control. Of everything.

Each day since the diagnosis God has given me promises and encouragement from His Word. God has been…and is…my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in this trouble. Therefore, I will not fear…[3]  BUT He also has made it very clear that my healing will be in answer to not just my prayer, but the prayers of others for me.

So please! Would you pray for me? Pray for God to heal me in whichever way He deems would bring Him the most glory. Healing without surgery, with surgery, with surgery and follow-up treatment, or through the greater miracle of the resurrection. Amy Carmichael’s eloquent and moving prayer below has given me words to express my heart’s desire…

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings;
Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God

–Amy Carmichael

Please pray for me…and my family… as we follow the Good Shepherd through this Valley of the Shadow. The bottom-line of our prayer is that our faith would be purified, God would be glorified, and Jesus would be magnified through every step we take on this new journey, until the Refiner sees His own reflection mirrored in my life.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

…Pray for each other so that you may be healed.      James 5:16

 

[1] Malachi 3:2-3

[2] Matthew 27:45-46; Genesis 3:15; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

[3] Personalized from Psalm 46:1-2

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Hold On: There’s a New World Coming

July 31, 2018

Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” Isaiah 35: 3-4

I have not caught the headlines for the last two and a half weeks. Not at all. I never opened up the news when I was in Israel and Jordan. I just had too many other things on my mind. I was aware there are tensions in the south border but world news I was oblivious to. So I came back and watched the news for as long as I could take which was about 10 minutes. I just look at the headlines online and I’m so aware that the world is unraveling … spiritually, morally, politically, racially, socially in just about every category. To be gone and come back and be hit in the face with all the news… including the tragedies of that Duck Boat going down with 17 people drowned and the shooting in Toronto and the forest fires in Greece and it’s just astounding.

And so I was talking to the Lord about it yesterday morning, and He led me to Isaiah 35. And if I could entitle this devotion, I think I would entitle it — Hold On: There’s a New World Coming.

(This devotional was shared by Anne at the AnGeL Ministries’ quarterly Ministry Update Meeting July 26, 2018)

 

 

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The 2018 Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast Praise Report

June 29, 2018
By Ray and Vicki Bentley with Anne Graham Lotz

The second annual Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast took place June 6-7, 2018.  For the second year in a row government leaders and influential Christian leaders from all walks of society gathered in Israel’s capital city to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

A well-known religious and political figure, Orthodox Rabbi Yehuda Glick, gave an official greeting and welcome, stating, “I’m so excited that today we have Christians from 70 nations in Jerusalem, our capital, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem!  We have been waiting for you for some 2,000 years!  As the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 2:2: Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.

And many people did come to the mountain of the Lord…to Jerusalem…and His Word was clearly proclaimed to all.

Knesset Member Robert Ilatov (pictured below left) initiated and chaired this prayer movement. Mr. Ilatov was assisted in coordinating the event by Albert Veksler (pictured below right).  God fully blessed with some 650 delegates from 70 nations.

The 2018 Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast became even more significant as Israel experienced a number of historic events: the 70th anniversary of the rebirth of the state of Israel and the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem were two that were widely celebrated.  (Vicki Bentley pictured below at the new Embassy)

In attendance were Christian leaders, pastors, ministry directors and other workers.  Representing numerous governments were kings, princes, lords, and ladies, U.S. representatives, plus members of various parliaments from both Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Russia and more.  It was a privilege to be invited – to experience and witness an unprecedented modern-day unity between Jews and Christians.

U.S Congresswoman Michele Bachmann co-chaired this year’s international prayer event with Robert Ilatov.  She is a very passionate supporter of Israel and a lover of Jesus. She was warm, friendly, and encouraging to all who were gathered.

The 2018 Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast officially began in the Israeli Knesset on the morning of June 6th with introductions and greetings from Knesset members and rabbis, along with Christian leaders, such as Kentucky Governor Matt Blevin and Anne Graham Lotz.

Anne underscored the significance of the 70th year as revealed by the prophet Daniel. In his experience, the 70th year was a time of great blessing for Jerusalem when the prayers of a lifetime were answered. She then read a portion of Daniel’s own prayer that was answered in the 70th year of the Babylonian captivity.

Anne also seized the opportunity to passionately testify to what she believes – that Jesus is the Christ, the unique Son of God, the Savior of the world—and she raised the possibility that the prayers of generations could be answered in this 70th year, as He returns to set us free and take us Home.

The evening of June 6th was filled with an atmosphere of praise as Albert Veksler’s daughter led Spirit-inspired worship. She sang most of her songs in Hebrew, but no translation was needed as the sense of His presence filled the room.

The president of Israel, Rouven Rivlin, came personally to give his own warm greetings and blessing which conveyed the nation’s official recognition of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast.   Mr. Dale Ditto, from the United States, also read a personal letter from President Donald Trump who officially declared the support of the United States.

Various leaders from around the world were then called on to read Scripture—a royal prince, an African king, members of the European Parliament, US Congressmen, business men and others….

while pastors from many different denominations lined up to pray…

Anne was given the privilege of delivering the keynote address which seemed to ignite holy fire in each heart.  She powerfully, prophetically challenged those present to follow the prophet Daniel’s example and pray until Heaven was moved and the nation was changed. The audience seemed spellbound,  as no one moved or seemed to even breathe until she concluded. She later learned that two men of different religions who were not delegates stood in the doorway to overhear her message, but as a result placed their faith in Jesus as their Messiah, Savior and Lord.

Thursday morning, June 7th, it was evident that unity and intercession continued to build a warm fellowship and sense of shared community among those gathered. There was an atmosphere of excitement and expectancy as the delegates shared breakfast with notable rabbis and Jewish leaders.

One of the most powerful moments came when Steven Koury, an Arab pastor, and a Jewish Rabbi, Tuly Weisz, embraced on the platform, then walked off together.

In the midst of this celebration, Anne’s powerful message of the morning brought eternal focus and attention for everyone.  She shared by personal testimony the need to pray with a repentant heart.  She then called on those present to rend their hearts, not their garments, as she quoted the prophet Joel. She closed in prayer, leading those present to the throne of a holy God.

As she walked off the platform, the audience stayed seated in silence. The presence of the Holy Spirit was heavy in the room. And then unexpectedly, the leading orthodox Jewish rabbi stood to his feet. With everyone watching, he walked over, greeted her warmly, and publicly gave her his blessing.

Everyone who attended was interesting and had a story. The following are some glimpses into who the delegates were:

Brother Yun, aka The Heavenly Man, a Chinese Christian House Church Leader

The King of Ghana with his wife, Anne and her daughter Rachel-Ruth Wright.

An American soldier stationed in Qatar for whom Anne felt impressed to pray.

Steven Koury, an Arab Christian pastor.

Vicki and Ray Bentley, Rachel-Ruth and Anne overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is the center of biblical prophecy.  Everything centers on it, for it is the end goal of God’s prophetic plans for the world.  I believe we are truly living in the days of the beginning of the fulfillment of the words of the prophet in Isaiah 62:6-7:

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Keep praying with us for the peace of Jerusalem!

 

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FATHER’S DAY 2018

June 15, 2018

This Father’s Day, memories are precious.  I’m reflecting, not on the public figure Billy Graham, but on the one I called “Daddy.”  The one who was always a farmer at heart.  Who loved his dogs and his cat.  Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events.  Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap.  Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s. Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great.  Whose mind remembered details that even a computer would have trouble recalling.

Yet as I remember, I can’t help but also think of his message because he was immersed in it.  Saturated in it.  He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life.  Simple faith.  Faith that now matters more than anything else.

For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus:  I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me.  Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father.  In Heaven.  Daddy not only claimed Jesus as the only Way to God, he lived by the Truth publicly on platforms and privately behind closed doors and is now enjoying real Life.

I have often stated that I was raised by a single parent because ministry took my father away from our family—for weeks and months at a time. Daddy estimated that he was gone from home approximately 60 percent of his children’s growing-up years. Until Daddy started staying home to be with Mother during the last years of her life, I could count on one hand the Father’s Days I spent with him. Yet again and again I’ve also stated that giving him up was more than worthwhile because I have met people all over the world who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as a result of his ministry.

So, while he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come. I pray that thousands will take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race and faithfully pass it on to others. Because Daddy’s message is God’s message.  And it’s a message of genuine hope for the future, of love for the present, of forgiveness for the past. It’s a message, when received, that brings a fresh beginning, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens heaven’s door.

At Daddy’s funeral service, I publicly vowed that I would do my best to faithfully deliver that same message by preaching the Word, doing the work of an evangelist as I share the Gospel, and living my life so that five minutes before I see Jesus, I have no regrets. (2 Timothy 4:1-8) My gift to Daddy on this Father’s Day is to keep that vow. With that in mind, I recently had the privilege of speaking at the Israeli Knesset, and at the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast.  To my knowledge, there were people of other religions who placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Messiah, Savior, and Lord.

So, the message which Daddy carried to the world that penetrated my own heart as a young girl continues to make impact. This Father’s Day, while my heart aches for the one I called Daddy, I’m celebrating with triumphant joy as I continue his legacy by passing the baton of Truth to as many people as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

This article can also be seen on www.BillyGraham.org : Anne on the First Father’s Day Without Her Dad – Billy Graham.

 

 

 

 

 

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