While I’m Waiting

God has healed me, this I know. All I want now is to be physically restored. God told me to keep praying for it. I keep praying and asking others to pray with me. “I’m weak physically…pray that I can get stronger.” I don’t even know how many times I’ve prayed and asked others to pray that same thing.

piano fallingAnd then it hit me. Like a piano falling from a tenth floor apartment building, when someone slipped and it went out the window. Okay, maybe not that hard. Yes, I can pray for my restoration. But what is God using me for NOW? What should I be getting out of the way to let him do?

I pause and reflect on this. A few weeks ago, I screenshot a note from a dear friend of mine: “Thanks lady for your constant encouragement, light shining, and energy! Trust me it’s happening even if you don’t necessarily feel it! 😊 You keep rocking you! 😊” I am an encourager. The dictionary defines encourage as “to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence; to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc; to promote, advance, or foster.”  I think the person I relate to most in the Bible is Barnabas. His name means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Barnabas was an encourager for sure. Acts 11:23 records, “When Barnabas arrived [in Antioch] and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Verse 24 continues about Barnabas, “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” I read a devo this morning that talked about the adventure of faith in being a Christian. “The fuel to deep you going is your passion,” it read. “Passion is that unapologetic willingness and enthusiasm to do what God has called us to do.” Enthusiasm has several different definitions in the dictionary. “Lively interest” and “any various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense enthusiasm and a break with orthodoxy,” are a few. I had never thought of enthusiasm as being religious. It does make sense, however, if you break it down and look at the Greek. En means “in,” and theos means “God.” So, if you are in God, you have enthusiasm.

encouragementI am enthusiastic about seeing brothers and sisters uplifted. I wast to be a good woman, full of the Holy Spirit and faith. Seeing people brought to the Lord, whether for the first time, or just a return after being encouraged…that’s an added bonus.

Be blessed, my friends!

Anna E. Meyer

What are you doing while waiting for God to answer your big prayers?

Source: Caine, Christine. Unshakeable. YouVersion Plan, Zondervan. Day 4.
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The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-20: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your STAND against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of the evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to STAND your ground, and after everything, to STAND. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” [emphasis mine]

I italicized all of the things we are to do. These pieces of armor aren’t just automatically on us when we become a Christian. We have to put it on daily. Just like you don’t leave your house without putting clothes on, why should we, as Christians, venture into the world without our armor? I am just as guilty as anyone when it comes to leaving without my armor. Simply speak it on: “I buckle the belt of truth around my waist, put in place the breastplate of righteousness, and fit my feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of God, our peace. I take up the shield of faith, as well as the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.” While you are speaking these things on, pray for your day! Surrender it to the Lord, who takes much better care of it than we can ever dream of doing!

How well do you understand the armor of God? I love the visualization of it so much, that I wrote it into my book a whole lot. It was fun! Let me share some of my notes on what the armor of God all means.

woman full armor of GodWe first buckle on the belt of truth. The enemy sends lies our way as often as he can. The world is full of it. But remember the TRUTH about all things, especially your identity in Christ! Next, put in place the breastplate of righteousness. I imagine this breastplate as one that wraps around my entire torso. Under the breastplate, you see, are our hearts. Our heart is the hub of our emotions, self-worth, and trust. Many have built extra walls around our hearts from past hurts, but the breastplate of righteousness is especially important. It ensures God’s approval and protects our hearts better than we ever could. God approves of us because he loves us—he loves us so much, that he sent his son to die for us! Next, fit your feet with the readiness to share the good news. Sharing the gospel with everyone you can seems like a daunting task. The word says that the gospel will reach every nation and tongue before Jesus comes back. “What if people respond negatively? What if they attack me, or sharing the gospel turns out to be a hopeless task? That’s what missionaries and pastors do. I can’t!” you say. Let me tell you: the footgear that God gives us is the motivation to proclaim the gospel of God—the good news that everyone needs to hear! Take up the shield of faith. Satan attacks us in the form of insults, setbacks, temptations, etc, etc. But the shield we are given protects us from ALL the flaming arrows of the enemy! Take up the helmet of salvation. Satan loves when we doubt. He tries to make us doubt God, Jesus, and our salvation, as often as he can. The helmet protects our minds from doubting God’s saving work for us. With the helmet, we can remember in our heads who we are! As you can see, all of this defensive gear works together to protect us!

There are two weapons of offense listed with the armor. The first is the sword of the Spirit. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Tempted? Trust in the truth of God’s word! The second weapon of offense is prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God, as if he is in the room right next to you! When you talk to God, you are strengthening your relationship with him, and the devil ain’t got ground to stand when God speaks!

To read more about the armor of God in action, check out Acts of the Apostles in the Bible or Saving Vindicity,” the book that I recently published!

 

Be blessed, everyone!

Anna E. Meyer

I PUBLISHED MY VERY FIRST CHRISTIAN FICTION BOOK!!!

3D promoI started writing “Saving Vindicity” the summer of 2011.  And I finally published it!  This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle.  Click here to download it for yourself, read it, and leave a review!

I stopped after writing it, because I was waiting for the “right time.”  Well, who knew when that would be.  After I had a friend read it a few months ago, and she didn’t have much criticism, I decided to go through with it.  The marketing stuff scares me, but I thought I’d start out with this blog. 🙂

Buy the eBook for Kindle here!

This is my very first book of many.  Eventually, if it does well, I’ll release it in paperback.  But I have more writing to do, as it’s on with the next book!

Anna E. Meyer ❤

Lord, where are you goin’ with this?

Music. Teaching. Writing. Pastoral Care. All my life, I have been led in these directions.  I am at a loss.  You know when I said, “This is the first time in my life I have no idea what’s happening in the future and I’m okay with it”?  Well, those words are coming back to bite me, because I am not necessarily okay with it anymore.  I just want to know what I’m going to be doing so that I can focus on that and refresh or gain even more knowledge in that area.  I didn’t pass my Praxis education tests to get the score for Kentucky, and I’ve heard from a few different sources about this Christian writer’s conference in Michigan in less than a month.  Do I stop looking for teaching jobs and write more?  I honestly didn’t even know where in the Word to turn to, so I googled the phrases, “God’s will + circumstances” to see what I’d get.  I came across a few awesome articles/blogs.  One of them told me to ask myself these questions: “Where has God been leading us? Has He been doing something even when we couldn’t recognize it?  In the light of all God has been doing for us, does what we think we hear God saying through our circumstances make sense?” (Edmondson).  The thing is, God has been leading me toward all four things I started out this post with.  Even when I don’t see it, I look back and realize he has been making me better at those four things.  And now I don’t know what circumstances are saying, because anything makes sense right now.

What I do know is that God has been making it very clear to both Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I that he has a plan for us, and that we are to be in Pikeville, Kentucky for a season.  He has led us to that path in a way that one can’t question.  This last week, Dr. Coyote, my parents, and me drove down to Pikeville (a 2 day drive from anywhere in the upper Midwest).  It was great.  We looked at our apartment that we had signed the lease on a month earlier (smiley face), D went and turned in some forms in person to the school, and I followed up on some job leads I had.  Basically, there have been 3 music teachers hired in the last year, and unless any music teachers are married to a med student who will be moving on soon, there won’t be an opening anytime soon.  But I picked up the sub application for two districts.  And the newspaper, where I sent my resume the week before, was still in the process of looking at all the resumes that have come in.  But the music store.  The music store is looking to expand on the private lessons it offers to band students.  There is a man who gives drum set lessons who would like to focus on something else, so I could potentially have his students.  The owner of the store said we would stay in contact, and that they would probably be able to use me.  So excited!  I love giving lessons.  I love having that relationship with a student and passing on knowledge and watching them grow!  So, ideally, I could be almost-full-time giving lessons, and maybe I could write?  That would be awesome. And while we were there, we also took in some of the sites and got a feel for the town where much of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud took place.  (And I didn’t even really know about the Hatfield-McCoy feud.  I do now!)

The Lord alone knows what the future has in store.  I’ve been finding verses that I feel the Lord has been speaking to me through lately and writing them on index cards so I have them with me to look at again and again.  Verses that calm worry (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:34), calm chaos (Psalm 46:10a, Psalm 37:7a), encourage perseverance because He is with me (2 Chronicles 32:7, Exodus 14:14, Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:6), command me to love him (Joshua 24:15b, Matthew 22:37-39, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), and tell me that he’s got it (2 Corinthians 12:9).  These are only a few verses I read often to calm me and remind me that the Lord is near.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote told me that he thinks the Lord is leading me in 4 directions on purpose.  I know God has been teaching me trust through every single thing he seems to be doing in my life, but this is another one of those things.  He also tries my TEACHES ME patience every time I turn around, as well, smiley face.

Music, pastoral care, teaching, writing.  I don’t really know what God has in store for these things, but I dream of a job where I can use all these things that the Lord has been preparing me for at once.

 

Do you look at verses for comfort or have some memorized to repeat to yourself when you need it?  What are they?  Does God talk to you through circumstances or does he sort of just leave you waiting and trusting until the almost-last-minute? 

 

Anna 🙂

An “Up”sy Post (Contrary to the Downers)

After some downer posts this week, I thought I’d write a more uppity one, because my mood is uppity compared to the previous weekish (am I using that word correctly?).  The only explination I can come up with is that my mood uplifting is really an answer to prayer, because life is still pretty cruddy (and it RAINED a ton today, which left the sky in a dreary setting until this afternoon, when the sun peeked out once).  So, I’ve been looking a lot at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  These are some pretty awesome verses.  Read here:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s break it down, shall we?  REJOICE ALWAYS.  John Wesley, in his commentary, writes that this means “in uninterrupted happiness in God.”  Rejoice in the dictionary means “to make joyful; gladden.”  Let’s rejoice.  Are you happy with God?  I feel like in the last few days of “ugh”-ness, I have been trying to cling tighter to him.  Hence, I am seeing him more and talking to him more.  He gives me so many reasons to rejoice, that I can’t even speak sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed by it!  So I just write THANK YOU in my journal while I pray to him in all caps.  PRAY CONTINUALLY.  The man John Wesley comments that this is the fruit of always rejoicing in the Lord.  Prayer isn’t just folding your hands and reciting words you’ve used a thousand times.  Prayer is a spirit, and the Spirit intercedes.  It’s simply astounding, and I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that God, the mighty and powerful creator of the universe, takes time to hear each and every one of our prayers from each of us.  That is a rant for another post, but seriously, read Romans 8:26-27.  Why do we always come to God in prayer with a laundry list of needs and wants?  Lift up his name!  Thank him!  And, those things are easier to do when we’re rejoicing always.  GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.  Wesley writes a whole big paragraph about this, but it’s good stuff, so I’ll let you read it: “Which is the fruit of both the former. This is Christian perfection. Farther than this we cannot go; and we need not stop short of it. Our Lord has purchased joy, as well as righteousness, for us. It is the very design of the gospel that, being saved from guilt, we should be happy in the love of Christ. Prayer may be said to be the breath of our spiritual life. He that lives cannot possibly cease breathing. So much as we really enjoy of the presence of God, so much prayer and praise do we offer up without ceasing; else our rejoicing is but delusion. Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer: it is almost essentially connected with it. He that always prays is ever giving praise, whether in ease or pain, both for prosperity and for the greatest adversity. He blesses God for all things, looks on them as coming from him, and receives them only for his sake; not choosing nor refusing, liking nor disliking, anything, but only as it is agreeable or disagreeable to his perfect will.”  Give thanks in all circumstances.  Now, I’m from Minnesota, and Howard Mohr, author of “How to Talk Minnesotan,” explained the term that Minnesotans use: “could be worse.”  I guess I’ve always been thankful for what I have, that it isn’t worse.  I’m thankful I have MS instead of something fatal.  But we should be thankful for everything.  Like the fact that I’m here, at school, and am another semester away from graduating.  Or the fact that God has given me some pretty awesome gifts, and others see it, bringing up and talking about seminary with me (that is a whole ‘nother discussion for later).  Be thankful!  FOR THIS (Wesley says, “that you should thus rejoice, pray, give thanks”) IS THE WILL OF GOD (“always good, always pointing at out salvation).  The will of God is pretty big.  And it’s perfect.  I know in decision times, it’s easy to ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” Instead we should be asking, “Where does my life fit into God’s will?”  Because, honestly, his will is bigger than us.  Read the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20.  This is what God has been doing from the beginning, trying to draw people closer to himself (again, another story for another post.  For more information, page through THE BIBLE, but because that’s really long, you can take my word on it?).

Anyhoo, I’ve made a calendar of events until graduation.  I figured out where I’m going to be this summer (home), and I keep finding opportunities there, which is good.  God’s got the go-ahead, as I’m done fighting with him over this summer.  It’s better this way, really.  (Word of advice that I’ve heard a million times but don’t realize I’m countering it: don’t fight with God, as his way is ALWAYS better, even if we don’t like it.)

Find something to smile about today!  It’s almost Friday.  J

 

Anna

My Poem/Blog of Thoughts Today

So much is trying to bring me down:

Burn out, allergies, a huge to-do list, etc.

I try to surround myself with what can bring me up:

Jesus, friends, music, etc.

The sun has been hiding for days,

Other students on campus walk like zombies,

And this place reeks of decay.

And I’m worn.

 

Then—

The sun appears.

I hear a Bible verse.

I play for an hour in band and prepare for Lifegroup.

Exhausted, I am.

Will this homework never cease?

The end nears.

I try NOT to push it.

I write.

“Here comes the sun, do dah de dah…”

 

God is continually at work.  I see random statuses and take part in conversations divinely serendipitous (is that a thing?).  I am used by Him as I myself write and talk.  My mind will never wrap itself around God’s work and his perfect plan and all the good he is.

 

I know where I’ll be this summer, which is a stress-away, but I am so weary from everything all the time.  So I’ll find my rest in the Lord.  I trust him with everything, anyway.

–Anna

(So, I’ve been posting a lot of “thoughts” poems and just “thoughts” lately.  It is super therapeutic for me to write, and I appreciate all of you who actually read these!  Be blessed, everyone!)

There Is Nothing but Prayer

My heart breaks

for the pain in other people’s lives.

And there is nothing I can do

but pray.

 

My heart breaks

as I watch tears flowing.

And there is nothing I can do

but pray.

 

There is brokenness everywhere

And so many are lost and searching in the wrong direction.

I don’t know what I can do

but pray.

 

A prayer warrior?

Maybe.

I just pray when there is nothing else to do.

Will you join me?

 

I have a list of people and issues I pray for,

But it is inadequate.

How do I express my soul to the Lord?

But the Spirit intercedes.

He hears my heart louder than my words.

He knows what I mean when words can’t form.

Even music escapes me as inwardly I groan

for God’s love and healing to abound.

 

Healing!  Where is it? I cry.

Every day, people die.

Physical? Emotional? Spiritual healing?

The world cries out for help.

But they refuse to surrender.

 

My heart breaks

for the many that don’t know God personally.

And there is nothing I can do

but pray.

 

Though I go out in faith

and let God live through me,

I can do nothing on my own.

And so I pray.

 

I would like to say that this is my heart’s attitude all the time,

but it’s not.

I have been seeing and hearing this more and more,

the power of prayer.

Why can’t the aroma of my heart be one of prayer?

Constant surrender and obedience?

We all know why.

We all live on this earth together.

Struggles; battles; lies.

 

So what can I do,

when faith is failing

and words run dry?

There is nothing I can do on my own

but pray.

And so I shall.

 

Written 4-4-13 by Anna Olson; in the middle of reading “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” by Jim Cymbala

Easter Thoughts: Seven Words at a Time

It’s Easter, and I’m thinking real deep.  As it is the Easter season, I have been thinking about things deepish for the last week or so.  What else do people think and blog about this time of year?  But really, it shouldn’t just be now, but always!  (We’ll work on that.)

One.  “My God, why have you forsaken me?”  Last week, I watched “Passion of St. Mark” put on by my college incorporating theater, the choir, and faculty instrumentalists.  The people who wrote it are professors.  They did an astounding job.  But during it, that phrase, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” was brought up in thought of tragedies that have happened on earth in history.  Honestly, I don’t think anybody has the right to ask why God forsake them except Jesus, when he was on that cross.  I know bad things happen, and God can seem far away, but he is always there, no matter how hard that is to believe sometimes.  He has his reasons and his own purpose that we may not understand, but that’s okay.  Now, I know when somebody goes through a tragedy, they may not find it so easy to come to the conclusion that God had a plan in it.  Look.

Two. As my cousin Phil summed up Good Friday: “Jesus died, then shit got pretty real.”  Do you realize how real?  The instant Jesus died:

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27)

I hadn’t really paid attention to this before.  I don’t know if I had actually read it myself.  Yeah, shit got real!  Was there any longer doubt that he was the Son of God?  100% man AND 100% divine.  There is NO ONE greater.  Seriously!  Grace was unleashed as Jesus took the punishment of all OUR sins—past, present, and future!  In.Awe.

Three.  “Jesus rose– shit got even more real.”  Um, yes.  The Holy Spirit had been unleashed and now he can dwell in each of us who accepts this divine gift of grace and salvation.  God hates sin, and that’s a pretty big deal.  He can’t look at it.  But Jesus took it all.  So even though we sin and it hinders our relationship with God when it’s there, we can simply acknowledge and thank Christ, that God will still look at us!  It’s amazing.  HE is amazing.  This living God who lives inside us is at work all the time.

We’re to accept and appreciate that gift.  How could we not?  Pastor Phill Tague mentioned in his sermon at The Ransom Church on Psalm Sunday that before we accept help, we have to admit we need it, and that is not always easy.  And how else do we appreciate it but praise the one who gave us the grace?  I’ll admit, I was just looking for seven more words for a conclusion, and “appreciate” is what I came up with.  The verb is inadequate.

How do you “appreciate” the mind-blowing grace and love shown at the cross? 

 

Just things to think about, I guess.

Anna

“Seriously? But I Didn’t Mean…”

So this morning I’m like, “Lord, I don’t think I can count MS as suffering anymore because it’s always there and I just deal.”  After my last class, walking was near impossible and I have no idea how I stayed upright and moving forward, although I paused many times to regain balance on my way back to my room.  My left leg wouldn’t lift anymore and with each step, my knee hyper-extended, causing physical pain that made me recoil at the thought of another step.  And as I was riding the teleportation device that transports you multiple flights of stairs (also known as an elevator) to get to my floor, I remembered.  “Alright, Lord, so it’s only not ‘suffering’ when it’s not bad.  I was totally kidding about what I said this morning.  But did you seriously have to go through all that just to show me?”  And I realized my need for the Lord in a physical way, that I can’t just depend on myself. It was a good lesson of constant dependence, one I’ve re-learned many times, especially when I forget.  But sometimes, I don’t see why I need to be re-taught so soon after last time.

It’s like when I’m doing a devo in the morning and I ask the Lord a question, leaving before it is answered.  I usually find my answer that night after a bad day, because I realize he used the day to answer my question.  The Lord is faithful.  So seriously, be specific and be careful what you’re asking him for.  It’s kind of like when Jonah didn’t want to go tell the Ninevites the good news because he didn’t like them, and he knew that God would hear them if they repented (he didn’t even want to give them a chance—they were mean).

Psalm 33:4, “For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”

Have you ever asked God for something that he faithfully answered, but you didn’t think he was going to?  Or you “accidently” asked?  Similarly to the above stated examples?

Anna 🙂

Give Me Jesus

(So, I was singing this song today, and I just changed some words and added some stuff to make it mine.)

 

In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus.

I set aside time to be with the Lord, to learn and experience and adore.

When I walk to class, give me Jesus.

He holds me up and keeps me on my feet, moving forward when I feel defeat.

When I do homework, give me Jesus.

Sometimes it’s a stretch to finish it all, but He will catch me when I fall.

In the evening, when I tire, give me Jesus.

He refuels me enough to finish the day, reminding me that he’s the way.

When I’m busy or when I’m bored, give me Jesus.

When I’m here or when I’m there, give me Jesus.

When I write about Him, he’s here, he’s Jesus.

I am a morning person.  It has been commented that I have energy but I’m “not annoying.”  I am okay with that.  J-Term is different, because I have free mornings.  In the last week and a half I’ve been back to school after Christmas break, I have found that if I go somewhere and am active (only a little), I crash in the middle of the day and am exhausted when I get back to my room in the evening.  Why yes, that did happen today, which is why I’m writing about it.  When I become physically exhausted, my brain can’t function well and I’m spiritually run-down, too.  I begin to worry about things I shouldn’t be worrying about, like my walking, because I’m afraid of what the multiple sclerosis may do tomorrow or next week or next year.  I am a planner, and I have needed to plan other things, as well, making sure I won’t have to walk further than I have to or life something that’s going to be too heavy.  When I get in these mini-funks, give me Jesus!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I don’t know why these things happen, but my schoolwork hasn’t been affected.  I may feel weary in many areas of my life, but I cling to Him even more.  What would I be without Jesus?  Nothing.  Jesus is my everything, and I live to worship him.  That includes praising him in the storm.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on my.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Anna 🙂