Thursday, November 29

my dear friend, tina, in ohio, sent
me a cd called "10,000 reasons"
it is utterly magnificent!

"and i worship...eternal hallelujahs
to the King...for He's higher than we
ever could imagine. closer than our
eyes could ever see. He's magnificent.."

last night,
sitting in my p.j.'s.
i sat in my beautiful
the dark...midnight..with this cd on.
my arms lifted. tear-covered face.
worship. worship. forever sing to the

i ran by the pharmacy to pick up my synthroid,
and cheryl was helping
behind the counter. i was donned in
skinny leg jeans and a high ponytail.
my blue eyes glistening like sapphires.

"cheryl, are u a Christian?
i doesn't matter because i
love u either way. but...i am. and i've
been listening to a CD in my car.
it says Jesus is higher than the heavens..
and closer than our eyes can ever see.
that He's magnificent!" tears brimmed
my eyes.

i picked up my script.
"i love you"!
"love you too, ann..."

and i headed for celebrate recovery.
the second time in the day to speak
of Jesus. anorher to a really nice
muslim at at&t.

there are two things, among many
mess-ups, that i think i have done
right with my sons. i understand
the heart...and i have shown them
grace. grace for every hole they fall
into (oh, my entire life has been falling
into holes!). may grace fill us. may
judgement and criticism, like boils,
dry up a d fall away.

magnificent God.
love is ALL You are.
teach us, Jesus, teach us
how to love.

Monday, November 26

enlarge my heart, Lord.
stretch it wide open.
unveil to me my secret sins. thoughts
i do not even realize i have that
corrupt my moral judgements...
and the things i say.

enlarge my vision, Lord.
lead me beyond the crushing
burdens and sorrows..and the pressing
influences of the secular mentality...
and into Your vast and warm heart
of love and quiet peace.

i so love You, Lord.
if there ever was a servant who loved and trusted her Master,
may i be that one. may You consume me.
may i cry out in joy to You every time a
shadow starts to darken my path
so i will know hope instead of fear.
light instead of darkness. radiant trust
rather than consuming worry.

yesterday morning, i helped taylor
make a casserole of sorts to enjoy
when he gets hungry...and i prayed
with him. what an incredible time we
had for four days. laughing and
eating ice cream and talking about
life, and how it all falls into place with
God. one day at a time. we thought
about the kind of girl God could bring
into his life to marry....and his dreams.

i drove away, after hugs and kisses
and 'i love you's'...with tears in my eyes and
joy in my heart. thank you
all for your loving words on my blog
and facebook. for celebrating my joys,
and embracing my many inadequacies.
you all touch me and feed me hope every day.
i'm loving my new (used)
car, too. just enjoying every minute driving it.

yesterday, colben, my little doll-baby grandson, turned two.
celebrate the beautiful pieces of your life today, and
let Jesus carry your burdens.
and please know that i really care about each of you.

Sunday, November 25

"let not your heart be troubled..or afraid."
so much push and rush and noise.
so many people you feel you must
make happy. dollar signs and inadequate incomes.
crowds and long lines and the last item grabbed
off the shelf just in front of your eyes.

i've been in israel at Christmas to run
the israeli marathon. the quiet, humble,
little town of bethlehem. intimate.
a sea of stars wrapped around the intinacy of
generations in a seemingly-common, but holy
corner of the world.

"oh, Lamb of God, i come. i come."
come to Your sweeping heart of love.
to Your kind smile of acceptance.
and forgiveness and compassion.

take over my Christmas season. all
the sad and difficult pieces.
the pressure i place on myself.
help me, in all of this, to seek You as never
before. to bury my face in Your wide
lap of forgiveness....and hear the angels sing.

i spent one more night with taylor.
getting ready to leave. i know i'll cry.
i just can't help it. he's my son, and
i treaure him so. like my other three.

i love you all.
my struggling comrades
of this glorious faith.

Saturday, November 24

i have always known that God
was magnificent. that He NEVER fails.
that He ONLY cares about our hearts...
and not so many things that people
attach to that.

it is the INTENT of the heart.
and...yes, we get lost and fall into
holes and have to be rescued by the
vast sea of God's glorious love. but
God's Blood is for the heart.

today..i head home. oh, i hate to say
"good-bye" to taylor. my first-born.
with his piercing, blue eyes washed
and glistening from his earnest core.

we have talked about everything.
in 3 wks. he'll have his film presentations
splashed across the big screen,
and a film degree under his belt. with alot of
biology and chemistry thrown in.

he doesn't have a steady girl right now.
we talked alot about God's choice. we
had more ice cream. both of us needing alittle extra weight.
and we bought some things, and took them all
back. ate left-overs for dinner. the
children and i have lived with so much
loss that we all think the police are
going to come and haul us away for
insufficient funds. at any moment.

to all of you fellow warriors,
look for my ponytail as we run.
or my blue eyes smiling on you for
all you are to me and to Jesus. and
ALWAYS be watching for broken
people lying along the way.
oh, may Jesus take our eyes off ourselves
so we can see them. and have a cup
of cold water ready. in His Name.

always...only...ALL for Him.

Friday, November 23

taylor did it.
with a beanie on his head
and a pea coat to stay warm,
he headed out to best buy and
black friday. the 40-inch, samsung
television for $169 was gone. that was
what he had his eye on. he does not
have a t.v.

i wasn't brave enough or young enough
to want to brave the elements. but
was awake at four a.m. when he returned.

life is often like black friday.
bundled-up excitement for the things that woo
us..and promise great surprise... only
to disappoint and dash our expectations.
the devil is the liar of all liars,
and a master genius at manipulating our
thoughts and desires.

i love the isaiah:
"a bruised reed He will not break.."
pour light into your wounds. sing in the darkness.
grab someone's hand so you don't feel alone.
and know that Jesus will hold you together no matter
how hard life tries to break and bruise

thank you for all your continuing
comments of love. of kindness.
let's ask the Lord if we can be neighbors in

Thursday, November 22

with taylor. thanksgiving.
just us...but we have planned
everything that are our favorites.
homemade mashed potatoes.
turkey. green bean casserole.
and dressing with cranberries.

someone is treating us to be together
at Christmas. it has been so long.
such hard, hard years. very hard.
Jesus has taken notice of us. glorious

"though the fig tree may not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines; and the fields
yield no food; though the flock be cut off from the fold,
and there be no herd in the stalls yet...
i will rejoice in the Lord,
i will joy in the God of my salvation."hab.3

i love each of you so. holidays can be dark for so many.
i know. i have been
there. still must work on my fears.

just remember...though the worst-case scenario...
Jesus reigns. Light shines.
music blows melody to sad longings.
Jesus reigns. allelujia.

Wednesday, November 21

after all the love and adjulation
and celebration at my alma mater

into the real world.
where i contacted a serious
sinus infection. food poisoning.
and pink eye.

walked into my little house alone.
a bag to unpack. silence. yes...from
love pouring over me to reality.

re-entry means returning to the
real world. bills. details to cover.
life. it is a challenge. such a huge
shift. resiliency is a reality that we
always must keep adapting to in
this challengeable life.

how i love you all. your loving hearts.
your prayers. the way you stand
by me. thank you all for keeping me
on this straight, narrow path called life.

"how can it be that Christ, my God
shouldst die for me."

"amazing love. how can it be.
that Christ, my God shouldst die me."

Monday, November 19

my dear friend Rob Moritz dramatizes the messages of the Apostle Paul in costume in the very locations where Paul ministered. Rome, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus and more. he has invited me to be a tour host on his next trip Retracing the Steps of Paul, from May 26th - June 5th, 2013. i'm excited about how inspiring it will be to visit all these amazing places. can you come with me?

for more information on the trip, go to

i would love to have you join us.
with warmest love, ann

Friday, November 16

how have you done since yesterday?
i talked about all of us keeping our
faith. i have fallen a couple times...
and Jesus has helped me get up and
go a little farther.

for all of us, as we crawl in for the night,
let's claim this day a victory.
let's take God's hand..and each other's...
and believe that tomorrow,
we will reach new heights for Him.

i have been attacked by a sinus virus,
and am on an antibiotic. but the beau-
tiful memories of the last week-end
are still etched in my thoughts. am
so reminded again that most of life
is made up of ordinary days. but every
now and then, Jesus surprises us with
celebratory moments.

yes ma'am.
always and forever.

Thursday, November 15

home again. and every morning calls
me to rise to higher places. to love
even more. be more quiet and listen
more earnestly. hold the hand of God,
and take Him everywhere. introducing
His magnificance to all the pleading
and lost and dying.

awards are rewarding, but doing
the Master's business is the essence
of our missions in the world. it is the
thrill above all !

So..i treasure the blessings..and all your faithful
love and prayers, but most of all, Jesus is the Hero and
Star. and we must be about God's
Business. oh, Jesus, keep our hearts
close to the very end.

"amazing can it be?
that thou my God should die for me?"

He did, and we owe him..
here we are. ready for His service.
yes, Lord. Send us! Yes...

Wednesday, November 14

The morning sky always reminds me
that nothing from yesterday is good
enough for today. Jesus is always calling us
to reach higher and farther.
so many to love. brows to smooth,
and ways to serve.

seeing old friends was beautiful.
i wish i weren't such a reserved, shy
spirit...but it was deeply moving. in every way.


Tuesday, November 13

the week-end is over.
the glorious crush of loving
people who literally enfolded

made my spine straighter.
my chin tipped up, just slightly.
my heart quiet and filled with joy...
and my eyes glistening.

"how can it be that Thou.
my God...
didst die for me?
amazing Love..
how can it be, that Thou.
my God...
didst die for me?"!!!!!

nagging sore throat.
flight leaves for home
at noon. back to reality.
alone. business to take care
of. my meetings. checking
on jan. everyone wanted to
know how jan is. it thrilled me.

thank you all for your prayers.
support. faithful love. how i
treasure you!

"o, man, what is good; and what
does the Lord require of you but
to do justly, to love mercy, and to
walk humbly with your God?" micah 6

so Jesus has handed us our
assignment for this week. i
genuinely pray for each of you.
especially where you are hurting.
with vast love.....ann

Monday, November 12

very cold in idaho.
awakened with sore throat.
but college class reunion and big
concert tonight. hard to maneuver
me through the crowds. arms reaching
out to me from every direction.
most that i did not recognize, but hands of
love grabbing onto me. thanking me
for my books. my belief in God's love.

young and old. precious words. my
eyes moistened by such love. a kiss
on someone's cheek. squeezing another's hand.

my passion to share Jesus stretching
farther and farther. why so many live
in shame...and bound.
earnest confession equals instant forgiveness.

people in the park. in sanctuaries. in
houses next door and across the street.
yearning for peace. deliverance.

"who will go for Me? Lord, send me."
isaiah 6

waiting, Jesus.
listening. on call for You. our Lord.
i fall down. face buried in carpet.
i want to set the captives free. we
need a big army. warriors. pull on your
boots. fill the water jugs. the rest is
His glory in us.

too late.
good-night, glorious partners.
let us NOT lose heart..i love u!!!

Saturday, November 10

thank you all for your words of
love to me. implanted in my heart
to strengthen and bless me. feeding
me joy and comfort day after day.

very late.
just want you all to know that
this morning i received a medallion
from my university as a blessed
writer in its hundred-year history.
so much kindness from so many.
my friend, debby, flew in and surprised
me. staying with old friends. rich and
junella. more festivities to come.

i am just so happy i did not trip in
my heels and fall flat on my face in
front of several thousand people.

if you never receive a big honor from
someone, remember that only one
award in life really counts: being
faithful to Jesus. finishing the Race
of life. our
value is not wrapped up in being
successful in the eyes of the world....
but pleasing Jesus.

good night, fellow warriors. i am so
grateful i get to run this Race with you. i love you,
and can hear your feet hit
the pavement next to mine. through
thick and thin, we are heading for the
finish line together. the Celestial City.

Friday, November 9

i am in nampa, idaho, where i am to
glorify Jesus for putting His hand on
my writing. because it really IS all
about Him! an award for Jesus.

i have a bruise on my cheek. i hope
i don't fall on my face in my beautiful,
new high heels. and it is going to
be a very cold day.

please pray...and thank all of you who
have told me you already are. and
especially remember my new friend
on the airplane. i told her Jesus has
led me all the way. that He is everything.
may He touch her pain and her dreams too.

"are you weary? are you heavy-laden?
tell it to Jesus...tell it to've
no other such a friend or brother. tell
it to Jesus alone.."

Thursday, November 8

tomorrow, i fly to idaho to the amazing,
private liberal arts university i graduated from eons ago. smile.
this year is their centennial year, and they
are honoring a few who have excelled
in various fields of academia. for me,
it is writing.

those of us chosen are being entertained to a week-end
of banquets and teas and a 5k race and a play;
wrapping up with a competitive basket-ball game with church
services on Sunday.

i have been terrified for all this. adulation for something Jesus did
through me...using one of His weakest vessels?!!
i forgot to have my nails painted.
and to get a spray tan (i always look better with a little color).

i have coaxed my best friend here to
brave the elements of frigid air to
spray me tan with something from
"sally's'' shop. i know this is not about
my looks at this stage, but i'm trying
to camouflage what i can.

really, i want my blue eyes to sparkle
for Jesus who can raise beauty out of
weakness. take ordinary people and
change the world through them. i
want to celebrate the glorious four
years at northwest nazarene university,
where the foundation of ministry was
laid for me.

and, of course, i forgive miss helen
wilson for giving me a b-minus in
creative writing. she gave me more
opportunities than anyone else on

Tuesday, November 6

Yes, my daddy's tombstone has only
these words: "it pays to serve Jesus".

as a little girl, hair pulled back in
a ponytail, i would say:
"daddy, why does Jesus pay? the
kids at school make fun of jan and
me. we're foreigners."

and my father would say,
"give God time."

"daddy," we'd say, a year later,
"no island boys like us. we are tall
and skinny and white and blue-eyed.
we are the minority and lonely."

"oh darling, sometimes it takes
years for God's true blessings and
rewards to begin being unveiled. "

many afternoons, after school, jan and
i would go next door to the church
altar. and weep and sing that old
chorus, "i know the Lord will make
a way for me...i know the Lord
will make a way for me.....if i live
a holy life. shun the wrong and do
the right, i know the Lord will make
a way for me."

my daddy had it down just right.
Jesus DOES pay. He kept me low
to one day raise me up. and in a way
that i would always remember it was
Him, and none of me.

Monday, November 5

my daddy was a preacher.
he was known by his praying, and
his passionate belief:
"it pays to serve Jesus".

reminds me of the old hymn:
"it pays to serve Jesus...
it pays every day.
it pays every step of the way....

"though the pathway to Glory may
sometimes be drear, you'll be happy
each step of the way."

i cannot say i am happy each step,
but everything worthy and honorable
and peaceful in my life is because of
serving Jesus. and every deep hole
and every sin are washed away by His
grace. may you feel joy with the rising
sun tomorrow, and remember, Jesus

Saturday, November 3

Friday night.
asus computer. I like it!
Jesus keeps providing for me
through you. glorious. simply amazing.

it automatically capitalizes things,
which I don't appreciate. as you know.
will have to work on this. fix it.

next week, I go to the private, liberal arts
university from which I graduated. to receive
what is considered a coveted award. I really
don't feel worthy of adulation. certainly not for my
writing because that is a gift that is ALL about God.
not me. please pray for me.

my new book, God willing:
"everything I have learned about the heart of God."
stories from my life that have revealed the magnificent,
beautiful heart of God. I have had to live this long to even
begin to fully consider speaking about Jesus and His heart.

the collaborator (a help put my style in a way acceptable
to the publishers who want my next book, but all wanted me to
'change' the way I put words on paper) is an author of 40 novels.
she started reading me at 14 years of age. says she read "i'm running
to win" over 40 times. she's humble and dear, and we are going to convene
at jan's house in sacramento. and none of us feels capable. the best sign.
her name is tracey bateman. maybe you've read her?

yes, billy (one of my blog commenters), there is a huge difference,
I think, between "heroes" and "idols". and I don't believe I qualify for
either. every day, I stare weakness in the face. every day, I crawl through
the cloud of doubt and insecurity to the radiant, shining Son of clarity and
strength, Who disregards all i'm not because of what He can do with ALL
He is.

blow the clouds away, Lord.
blow the doubts away.
that we may be light and kindness and love
and compassion wherever we go today.
amen. amen

Friday, November 2

Tomorrow, i will be back at panera's
with a computer. yehhhhh! but i have
been reading all your comments
daily..and they feed me like ice cream
on a hot day. thank you all.

and have i mentioned how much i
love my car?!! and how touched i am
every time i open the door?!!! Oh, i am
so grateful for everyone who has so
helped me in so many, sacrificial ways.
every dollar pushes a soft chord in
me. tenderness. i'm a warrior with an

12-step study tonight. i always go with
my heart shaking just a little. have to
lay my negative stuff on the table.
pull the raw places out. expose them
even as the others do. we are step-
sisters for life.

today...have you mentioned the Lord's
name to someone? reminded the
world that Jesus really loves them?
and remember, Jesus forgives us
every day. we just have to ask Him
to help us forgive ourselves.

i love you all!