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Thankful The Real Treasure Is Inside

November 19, 2018

Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

It was the summer of 1986 when we were robbed. Our house was broken into and everything of value was taken about six weeks before I spoke at the International Congress for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I was stripped of furniture, cameras, silver, the things my grandmother had left me, and all of my jewelry. When the time came for me to stand in the lectern to address the ten thousand evangelists from all over the globe who were seated in front of me, I was acutely aware that what I had to offer them had nothing to do with items that had been taken from me. If there was to be any blessing, any encouragement, any word from the Lord to this gathering of men and women, it would come from the hours I had spent in prayer and in studying His Word. I knew that my real treasure was on the inside.

This truth is underscored by the description of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament. The outside was covered in badger skins,[1] which would give it a very ordinary appearance. No one would ever guess such a rough looking exterior could contain glory on the inside. But it did! Wood overlaid with gold, embroidered silks, golden vessels, and the magnificent Ark of the Covenant filled the Tabernacle with a dazzling, awe-inspiring beauty.

The apostle Paul reiterated this principle when he told the Corinthian believers that their lives were like jars of clay into which God poured the glory of His life and character.[2] In other words, on the outside we may look ordinary, but on the inside God sees a reflection of Himself.

I have been reminded of this in a very fresh, personal way as a result of hair loss due to chemotherapy. When my hair began to fall out in large amounts, I went to my beloved Christian brother and hairstylist extraordinaire, Doug David, owner of The Douglas Carroll Salon. Looking on were his wife, my daughters, and two of my granddaughters who helped to turn a dreaded event into something that was actually fun. Under their watchful eyes and with their affirming comments, he shaved my head. For those of you who have been through this, you know that it is also a humiliating trauma. I was almost shocked to hear the familiar sound of my own voice coming from the face under the shorn head I saw reflected in the salon mirror! My immediate reaction was to quote God’s words…that God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. I am so thankful!

But of course, because we do look on the outward appearance, Doug cut and styled a wig that a new friend, Melinda Alba of New Beginnings in Sugarland, Texas, had found for me. She had searched and searched for a wig that was the right length and color to match my own. See what you think.

What about you? If your outward appearance has been scarred, altered, deformed…or if your outward appearance is flawlessly spectacular…remember. God looks on the heart. The real treasure is on the inside.

Thankfully,

 

[1] Exodus 36:19 NJKV

[2] 2 Corinthians 4:7

 

For more: My Cancer: A Journey of Faith

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November 7, 2018

Today is my father’s 100th birthday! I’m reflecting, not on the public figure Billy Graham, but on the one I called “Daddy.” I miss him more now than when he first moved to our Father’s House. With a dull ache in my heart, I long to drive up to see him one more time. To tell him about the new journey of faith God has me traveling. To hear him say, “I love you, darling.”

Today, I’m remembering 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, celebrating his first birthday 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.

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. While I’m somewhat bound and set aside, I have not forgotten my recommitment to take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race. I am committed to faithfully pass it on to those with whom I come in contact, whether through this blog, or those I pass at the hospital during chemo treatments or doctors’ visits. 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. I know, because the message which Daddy carried to the world penetrated my own heart as a young girl and continues to make impact.

On this, his 100th birthday, while my heart aches for the one I called Daddy, my heart is also filled with triumphant joy knowing that this life is not all there is. One day we are going Home!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

 

 

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What Do You Believe?

Nov 5, 2018


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To Bear Much Fruit

October 26, 2018

The following audio devotional was given by Anne to her ministry family following her cancer surgery and one week before her first chemo infusion.

My aim in ministry is not ministry – my aim is to bring God glory and to bear much fruit.  John 15: 8 says, This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples. So, if my purpose is to glorify God, then I can do that if I’m traveling. I can do that if I’m on a platform. I can do that if I’m on a pulpit. I can do that if I’m doing an interview. I can do that if I’m on a chemo bed. My purpose is to bring Him glory; but in order to bear much fruit and to bring Him even more glory, it requires several things…[Listen]

 

 To listen to Anne’s full devotional – click HERE.

 

 

 

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No Fear of Death

October 16, 2018

Since the children have flesh and blood, he (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15

My cancer journey continues as I begin chemotherapy this week. My heart aches for the multitude of people who have also dealt with this deadly disease. Yet I am praising God for His keeping power and for your prayers that I know are sustaining me in a constant state of peace, joy, and expectancy of blessings along the way.

I have been told that my prognosis is excellent. But to be honest, even if it wasn’t, I can truthfully say I have no fear of death. None at all. My perspective is the same as the apostle Paul when he declared, For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21) As my brother-in-law, Dr. Denton Lotz, stated when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the same time I was diagnosed with breast cancer, we are in a win-win situation.

Facing death without fear was eloquently expressed by Jac, the grandson of my husband’s brother, John Lotz.  Jac’s mother knew he had been assigned by his teacher a written report on the person who had greatly impacted his spiritual life, but she didn’t know what he had written. After he left for school, she found the following on his computer. She then forwarded it to me. It was such a blessing, I asked Jac if I could share it with you, too, and he agreed.

Denton, Jac and I are looking up!

 

 

 

 

 

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