Living Revived!


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!  
2 Corinthians 5:17

Yesterday I was out with the lads, doing a few laps around the property. Life was everywhere. Each step seemed to lead me into another patch of wildflowers that covered the ground in a carpet of beauty. The slight breeze occasionally sent a ripple through the blossoms; reminding me of a tattered blanket being fluffed. Only these flowers weren't tattered- they were fresh. Vibrant. Rested. Invigorated. 

I got to thinking about how we as humans are so tattered... so worn out, lacking energy and fullness of life. We are so quick to forget that Christ alone is the source for restoration. He provides the refreshment that comes from living in the raw. Over and over again, my attention was drawn to these fuzzy weeds...

 So comparable are we to them: blowing away with the slightest gust that comes our way.

I think I prefer to be comparable to ground cover. It might get trampled time and again, but it always finds a way to spring up again and regain it's perkiness (even at the tramplings of little feet playing "hunting the elk and deer").

Even an old pump house can display beauty. Beauty is transcendent. It grows amongst the scars that occur along the way; and somehow, with God, the scars aren't so ugly anymore. 

It takes time to bloom. Plants need lots of water, sun and time.

I suggest you drink up lots of Living Water, soak up the Son, and watch the beauty that will take place. 

Living revived,


Turkey Tales


Last weekend my dad, Jeff, my son Grant and I headed south for a little turkey hunting weekend.  We had a blast!  Dad booked a guided turkey hunt with Jody Smith Guide Service and Jody's right hand man, and pro turkey guide, Dave Powell took us around and showed us some fabulous hunting.

This was a special weekend for me because my 9 year old son would get his first chance at hunting something larger than squirrels and tweety birds.  I was set to let him use my tag under the mentored youth hunting program here in Oregon.  A couple of weeks before the hunt we got out and started practicing with a youth model 20 gauge and after overcoming the realization that the recoil was not going to hurt him he started shooting good enough that I was confident, given the right set of circumstances he could get a bird.  And so that became my goal.

You know how it is when you set your mind to something and you're not really satisfied until you accomplish that task.  That is the wrong attitude to have while hunting but that is the exact attitude I had last weekend.  I was so focused on the goal that I forgot to enjoy the process.  We had some incredible things happen.  It was fun.  It was intense.  I wish I could go back and do it again with a different attitude.  With less stress.  I would enjoy it more.

Grant never got a bird. He missed one tom at 40 yards.  Actually the pellets hit him in the tail feathers and sent him on quite a turkey trot.  Then he just missed a tom at 25 yards.  Shot a little behind the neck and head.  He had another chance or two but the birds caught his movement as he was getting set up to shoot and spooked.
 Here is what I learned.  My first goal should have been to introduce Grant to hunting and make sure he had a great time.  Really, that was the goal until I saw how well he could shoot and then things changed.  I wanted more!  Not that it is bad to want your kid to be successful, but in making that the overiding goal I missed out on all the other great things that were happening. 

Grant stepped up on this hunt.  He was belly crawling across grass fields.  He was crossing creeks and climbing steep hills.  He was fighting his way through blackberry bushes....and he was loving every minute of it.  He hunted from sun up to sun down (16 hrs) with wet feet and never complained.  He asked a lot of questions, and we talked about many different things. We saw deer, elk, turkeys, and bears...sunrises, sunsets and awesome country over the weekend. I know he felt special being out there and being accepted by his dad, uncle, and grandpa.  I will forever be grateful for the way they accepted him and made him feel on this trip.  Dave Powell was awesome.  He was encouraging to Grant and very helpful.  And he got us on some birds that I'm sure Grant wouldn't miss again. 

 My son is a tough little dude.  I really enjoyed spending time with him out away from the manufactured world.  I loved talking with him and laughing with him.  I loved seeing him step up the toughness.  He surprised me.  I learned something about Grant this weekend and I think he's gonna be a great man someday.  And a force to be reckoned with in the woods!

 And next time, I am going to enjoy the process first and remember that hunting is about way more than the kill.



It's worth THIS just to know Jesus...


Jeff, Scott, Dad and Grant (Scott's son, my nephew) took off this weekend in search of a few gobbling Toms- I won't spoil the surprise and tell you that they tagged out- but I will tell you that honey is headed home tomorrow! They asked me to fill in once again on the blog- hope you don't mind!

This excerpt is from a phenomenal writer, who I admire a lot. I have recently been dealing with a difficult situation that is close to my heart. The pain is strong, the hurt is real. When I read this it just fit- it was such a great reminder. I really don't have much more of an explanation than that. My hope is that it touches you, or someone close to you in their time of trial.

"...It's worth THIS just to know Jesus..."

That was the spoken words of a woman who was in an accident and has lived the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

My mind went back on the things in my own life - those things that have seemed too hard to live through - those things that hurt the most, emotionally often times...

My mind tried to wrap around the undeniable truth that God is the God of my yesterdays and He orchestrated them yes! No, He didn't fall off His throne during those times and give a blind eye to my circumstances, but rather was the God of them.

I have had moments of struggle, still do, where my mind fights the naggings of wanting to re-do, re-live, re-write, OH, to have those years the "locust seem to have eaten!" along the way. The fleshly nagging of "WHY?" The self-pity of hurting, saddened fleshly heart.

Sometimes, the pain of the past is too great to even contemplate. It just brings too much emotional pain. Feels like too much loss, too much regret, or maybe just too much imperfection?

AND YET, for me it has been the pain of yesterdays that has brought me to know my Savior much, much more than I did. And I will, I do say, though weak in heart at times, but Jesus knows I believe, "It's worth THIS/that just to know Jesus."

OH, worth it just TO KNOW JESUS!!!

-----------~ ~ ~

Which brought me to another day, another moment with Him this week where I was absolutely blown away by HIS knowledge of me. Reading in John 2, verses about in the twenties I think...

It says Jesus knows ALL about all people. No person is excluded from his knowledge, and no part of our life is excluded from his knowledge.

He knows everybody—and everything about everybody.

Here’s what Jesus says later on in John 6:64: “There are some of you who do not believe.” And John adds, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.”

It's a striking thing to realize even the heart of Judas was open before Jesus. Jesus was not surprised when his betrayal came. Judas was not a surprise to Jesus.

There is nothing in us that is a surprise - He knows all about us.

I had to just let this truth about Jesus sink into my heart. Not that I haven't known and believed this, but there are times where a truth known before becomes more to me... it moves to a deeper level in me.

"If you have ever been impressed with any man’s knowledge about people or wisdom in discerning motives and explaining actions and predicting behaviors—if any character in fiction or person in history or living counselor or scholar has ever impressed you, the knowledge of Jesus should be infinitely more impressive." J. Piper

Discernment is a very important quality to me, and something I admire greatly when I see it in others. It is something I admire more than a lot of qualities. And in my flesh, the lack of discernment - well, there is little that turns me off more.

And to think, God is beyond discernment. He is ALL KNOWING.

I really don't think I, humans, get any sort of grasp of that unless it's supernatural revelation.

The person who matters most in the universe knows most about me! Wait a second. I need to reread that.

And what really does this mean?
It means that there are no complete secrets in my life.
One may have succeeded in hiding something all their life from everyone on this earth.
But it is not hidden from Jesus.
The person who matters most knows most.
The person whose judgment about me and that which is all important, knows all.

I sit here and want that to sink in all over again. I am totally known. Totally.
There is not the slightest part of my heart unknown to Jesus, at this hour, and every hour.

This means that there is always at least one person I must relate to who knows everything about me. This should shape my relationship with the Lord. There is One, who when I look Him in the face - He sees totally through me into the heart of me.

When I relate to Jesus do I relate to Him as one completely laid bare before Him? Totally known?

If so, what an amazing relationship!

So often I feel I want others to understand me, to know me for who I am, to BE understood and not misunderstood, to be seen not through their eyes of judgment, but of love and understanding.

There is One, and only One, who totally knows me. Nobody else even comes close. Nobody.

I like how one preacher put it: "Your spouse’s knowledge of you, or your best friend’s knowledge of you, compares to Jesus’ knowledge of you like first-grade math to quantum mechanics..."

I am fully known by one person, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, I always have someone to go to for help in knowing who I am. Jesus Christ.
There is always one person who knows my heart perfectly. Knows it better than I do. Jesus Christ.
Therefore, I always have a person who is willing to love me, knowing absolutely everything about me.

Jesus Christ.

“To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

If you have received Him - you are His child, there will always be one person who will love you knowing everything, absolutely everything about you. You can say with the disciples in John 16:30, “We know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”

I have felt a passion this week to pray, to want, this glimpse of the glory of the All-knowingness of Jesus Christ... and that it would move me to admire HIM more than anyone, and love and trust Him and follow Him with all my heart, soul and mind.

-A. Ann


That's it?


I find this excerpt from Desire fitting as we enjoyed our first 70 degree day of the year this week! We're turning the corner! 

Forever and ever? That's it? That's the "good news"? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more "spiritual." We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can. Eternity ends up having no bearing on our search for life whatsoever. It feels like the end of the search. And since we're not all that sure about what comes after, we search hard now. Remember, we can only hope for what we desire. How can the church service that never ends be more desirable than the richest experiences of life here? It would make a HUGE difference if you knew in your heart that the life you prize is just around the corner, that your deepest desires have been whispering to you all along about what's coming. You see, Scripture tells us that God has "set eternity" in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11). Where in our hearts? In the desires of our hearts.

The return of spring brings such relief and joy and anticipation. Life has returned, and with it sunshine, warmth, color, and the long summer days of adventure together. We break out the lawn chairs and the barbecue grill. We tend the garden and drink in all the beauty. We head off for vacations. Isn't this what we most deeply long for? To leave the winter of the world behind, what Shakespeare called "the winter of our discontent," and find ourselves suddenly in the open meadows of summer?

( Desire , 111)