Monday, September 22

Letter from Jan to Ann

Ann, we are 69 years of age today.  I can't grasp you are in heaven. 

We began as one egg. You pushed yourself out first and you have marched ahead of me again into heaven. You know we never really talked about death and dying except it just couldn't happen. But three months before you died, do you remember saying, "I have to die first. You have Tom. I would be alone."  I continue to have these awful mishaps, diarrhea everywhere, falling over the open dishwasher door, breaking more bones - I carry my pain alone. You are in heaven, your suffering is over. Hurray for you!  And you were right, I couldn't have made it without Tom. 

Sometimes I wail out your name. So many things I want to say to you. A new makeup I found. A new book. A sad feeling. I've talked to all your children. Brock is sending me a new blender. Mine is broken. I know you would be proud. Honey, you lost touch of all the millions who are changed today because of you. Remember Phillip Russell, your ROTC partner?  He called. The only person from school I would even recognize. We graduated 51 years ago.  He and I have had really honest talks about being haoles.  How ugly and inferior we felt.

Ann, we have laughed and snuggled in beds with our magazines, spoken on the same platforms, argued fiercely.  Never free for a day to be just ourselves. We had to always wonder what the other one was doing or getting.  I don't have to worry about my weight anymore.  It's a relief, honey. Why did you need to be so much smaller than me?

You are brilliant, beautiful, gifted and the most loving person I've ever met. I'm struggling with being overly defensive. I always have been a fighter. Another thing I wish we could talk about. While I feel a big piece pulled a part of me when you died, I carry you with me everywhere I go. Thank you for sharing your world, your great friends, your blessings. God poured great blessings into both of our lives, but I still become someone special, "magical", to people when I say I'm the twin sister of Ann Kiemel Anderson.

I crawled into your hospital bed minutes after you died, honey, and wrapped my arms around you, kissed you, cried, and knew my life would never be the same again. Wait for me, I'm right behind you!

I will always love you, darling.   Jan

Sunday, March 9

Ran across this quote embedded in one of Ann's first blog posts.
everything must balance.
if i want to love deeply,
i should expect to suffer deeply.
this means i more or less choose
for myself what i want to put in
and take out of life. nothing great
or noble comes cheaply.
We all thank God for Ann and the legacy she left us.

Please continue to pray for Ann's family as they mourn her loss.

Friday, March 7

Ann's Memorial Service Streamed Live on Saturday

Wanted to make sure that you all knew that Ann's memorial service will be streamed live tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm Pacific Time at

Wednesday, February 26

Please feel free to visit Ann's Caring Bridge Site to leave words of encouragement and testimony.
Information on Ann will be posted to her FaceBook Site and her Caring Bridge Site.

Monday, February 24

Excerpt:  "I'm Out To Change My World"  Ann Kiemel, 1974


one day a girl came in on her bicycle.
she had another friend with her
and this friend's father was president of the city college.
and she was an agnostic.
but i loved her anyway.
i wrote poetry with her;
i laughed with her.
i arm-wrestled with her on the floor;
i jogged with her;
i rode a ten-speed with her.
i shared Jesus with her everytime i got a chance.

she would call me some nights
and in the middle of of a conversation
she would slam the phone down in my ear.
i don't know how often the phone slams in your ear
but i didn't exactly appreciate it.
i mean after all,
she was the one who called me.
but i loved her.
although, i really shouldn't say so
because sometimes i really wanted to give up.
and sometimes i really wanted to smack her in the mouth.
but Jesus in me loved her
through thick and thin.

and then one day seven months later
the phone rang.
she was sobbing and crying,
i don't know how to tell you
but today at school,
in an unexpected, obscure moment,
it came to me --
God has to be.
because no one in my life loved me the way you loved me.
if anybody can love me through my moods
and the drugs
and all my mess the way you loved me,
there has to be a God.
in an obscure moment today
i found Him."

just about a month ago,
i got a letter from June.
she has Bible clubs everywhere.
Jesus is Lord of her life.
she's out to win her family to Jesus.
she believes.
just because somebody loved her
through thick and thin
and you see, you can't stop love.
love finds a way through.

Sunday, February 23

Ann asks that you would especially remember her in your prayers tomorrow afternoon as she is scheduled for a PET Scan.  As you know, she's recently been through a battery of tests and needs God's peace to envelop her as she faces this scan tomorrow. 

Ann is so very appreciative of all your love and prayers.  They mean so much to her.

God bless you,

Team Ann

If you haven't checked out Ann's Caring Bridge website, created yesterday, please take a minute to visit. 
The website address is:
This address is also posted on Ann's FB page.  

Saturday, February 22

Thank you for continuing to pray for Ann!

Excerpt from "I'm Out To Change My World"  Ann Kiemel, 1974

The Architect

i started in long beach with 88 teenagers.
i didn't know anything about being a youth director.
i just prayed one simple prayer,

"Jesus, You called me.
i am nothing
but You are everything
and i only make one request --
that You do things
so big
so unusual
that people will be able to look on
with such a sense of awe
and say it is too wonderful--
only God could have done it."

and then i didn't know where to begin
but i told those 88 kids
if they would just learn to love each other,
Jesus would trust us with the whole world.
but love is hard work
and it took a lot of months
for the big, tough football players to learn to love
but they learned.

and in a year and a half
we had sunday school in three sessions on sunday.
and we had sunday school on tuesday afternoons
for the neighborhood guys who couldn't get in on sundays,
and three more sessions on wednesdays,
and a club on thursdays.
from sunday to sunday
in a year and a half
we had four hundred teenagers
just because 88 kids learned to love each other.

you tell me love doesn't work--
and i don't believe you.
every time i went on a trip to speak
those kids prayed for me--
twenty four hours a day
around the clock--
because they were out to change the world.
they'd say,
"ann, we can't fly with you
but we'll stay here and pray."

an architect in our church walked up to me
and he was crying
and he said, "i want to tell you something.
a couple of weeks ago i got up early--
at 4:30 a.m.--
to fly to Panama
and i saw the light on under the door of my son's room.
now, rick's a sharp kid
but we can't get him up
even at 7:30 a.m.
and here it was 4:30
and the light was on in his room.
i bounded across the hall and threw open the door
and i couldn't believe it--
there was rick kneeling beside his bed with his Bible open--

'rick, what is the matter?
it's only 4:30
are you having some special problem?'

'it's ann,' rick said.
'she's in detroit this weekend
and i pledged to pray every morning
between four and five while she's gone.
you know dad, we're out to change the world
and when you change the world
you've got mountains.'

and the architect said,
"i walked out of his room
and closed the door
and forgot my trip.
i went into my room
and fell on my knees by my bed
and buried my face in the shieets
and wept--
'oh, Jesus,
i don't love you enough.
i don't care enough."

Friday, February 21

Dear Friends of Ann,

Ann is in great need of God's healing power right now.  All prayers for her are greatly appreciated.  She has recently had a battery of tests performed on her to seek to determine the causes of her weaknesses and suffering. The tests indicate that blood clots have formed in her lungs, and preliminary results test positive for cancer of the liver.

These are both life-threatening, and we can't overemphasize Ann's need for God's healing touch, unless it is His plan and timing to take her home. Please lift her up before God, and we will trust the outcome to him.

All of this has taken a severe toll on her physically, emotionally, and financially.  If you want to help her with a gift of love or note of love or both, they are a huge encouragement during a very difficult period.  

Thanks so much,

Team Ann

Tuesday, February 18

Ann wanted to share this beautiful message sent to her from her dear friend, Steve Forster, while she's been ill.

Ann Kiemel, you sang so many little songs so just for today, if I could sit by your bed, I would hold your hand, look in your eyes with care and concern and sing a song to Jesus for us both: You are my hiding always fill my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid....I will trust in You...I will trust in You...Let the weak say I am strong in the strength of he Lord.....I will trust in you....are my Hiding Place. 
Love you dear.

Excerpt from "I'm Out To Change My World"  Ann Kiemel, 1974

Mrs. Grissom

it was saturday night and i ran across the street
to get the vacuum cleaner.
it was late and i was tired and in a hurry
and mrs. grissom handed me the
vacuum cleaner and i looked into her
tired, old wrinkled face,

and i don't know why
but as i took the cleaner and started to go
i said to her, "oh, mrs. grissom,
God loves you a lot."

and the tears just began to spill down her face
and she said,
"could you wait just a minute?"
she went back into her house
and got a plaque off her wall
and brought it out.
it was a picture of weeds---
just ugly old weeds smeared all over the picture
and underneath all those ugly weeds were these words:

nobody likes weeds.
nobody carries them in a bouquet
or wears them in a corsage.
but God waters the weeds.

and she looked up,
"you know, ann, all my life i have
felt like a weed."
"mrs. grissom, could i pray with you?
i didn't know anyone went all through
life feeling like a weed.
there are times when i feel like a weed.
but i didn't know anybody
felt like a weed all their life.
really, i just came to get the vacuum cleaner
but i was wondering
could we just stop for prayer?"

she said she'd like that and we went into her
little apartment
and i said,
"would you like to hear a little song
that i sing a lot in a big lonely world?"

i will serve thee because i love thee...
You have given life to me.
"so i'm not just a weed and neither are you
because He gives us life."

heartaches, broken pieces
ruined lives are why you died on Calv'ry.
"that's why He came, mrs. grissom."
Your touch was what i longed for.
"you see, He makes flowers out of weeds."
You have given life to me.

and i prayed with her.
when i finished praying with her
i looked her in the eye,
"oh, mrs. grissom, i love you.
you are a very special lady to me."
and the tears began spilling down her face.
"i've never been special to anyone before."

i picked up the vacuum and i ran across the street
to my little apartment
and threw myself across the bed,
"oh, God, it's so ironic!
the people who live the closest to us
are the ones we overlook,
the ones we fail to reach out to.
Jesus, use me in the neighborhood.
if i am out to change the world,
i'll have to start in my own neighborhood."

the next morning was Sunday
and i called the florist at 7:30
and asked him to put together the
most beautiful bouquet he had ever fixed.
i wanted the flowers that looked the prettiest
and smelled the best.
i mean the loveliest bouquet he had ever made!

"well, look lady, it's Sunday morning.
i barely have my houseslippers on and..."

"but sir, you don't understand.
it's for a very special lady
and i want her to know she's not a weed---
but that she's beautiful."

"yes, ma'am, i'll see what i can do."

"just write on the card ---
'bright hope' - 'love, ann' "

the very next day she knocked on my door
with tears running down her wrinkled face.
"i've never had a bouquet in my house before,
and ann,
for the first time in my life
i really knew God loved me."

i'm out to change the world---
in love---

that's my hope.

Monday, February 17

Below is one of the earlier stories from Ann's books.  Enjoy!

Excerpt from "I'm Out To Change My World"  Ann Kiemel, 1974

Taxi Driver

it was in the summer and i got up into a
beat up old cab in miami beach
and asked the old cab driver to take me
to another hotel.
it was hot and every window was rolled down.

and i asked him,
"what is the one word that describes your life?"

"can i give you two?" 
he said.

he was old and gnarled
about as beat up as his cab.
"yes," i said.
"what are they?"

"bored and unhappy."

"sir, why are those the two words that
describe your life?"

"i don't know. i guess 'cause i got
nobody in the world."

"nobody, sir?
no wife, no children, no family?
no one in the whole world for you?"


"tell me, sir,
how did you get to be an old man and
have nobody?"

"cause i never got a good job and
no woman wanted me."

"sir, can i sing you a song?"

"i don't have a very good voice,
but i know you'd like my song."

"just a minute, please."
he rolled up his window. then he nodded at me.

and i began to sing:

something beautiful,
something good,
all my confusion,
He understood.

all i had to offer Him
was brokenness and and strife.
but He's making something beautiful
out of my life.

"sir, do you know who i'm 
singing about?
Jesus Christ, He's the Lord of my life.
he laughs with me and cries with me..."

"i'm a Jew."

"sir, He'll walk with you.
He'll laugh with you.
He'll be your friend."

and just then we pulled under the portico of the next hotel
and i was fumbling in my purse for my money
when i saw this old hand reach out
and i let loose of the money in my purse.
i reached out and took his hand
almost afraid to look him in the eye
because i didn't know what he would say.
i lifted my eyes to his and he was crying.

"lady, when i got in this old cab tonight
i was the loneliest person in the whole world.
i never heard anyone talk like you talked tonight
and i want your God.
He and i could ride together."

and i crawled out of that old cab
knowing that somewhere in miami beach
an old, gnarled, wrinkled man
drives a beat up cab.
but he doesn't drive alone.
and i can hardly help but sing
when i know that the eternal God
is willing to invade an old cabbie's life
and love him.

Saturday, February 15

In speaking with Ann tonight, she wanted everyone to know that she feels your prayers.

after heading to rehab last month, 
God used this time to reveal the multiple blood clots 
in my lungs and infection in my body.  
i've been leaning hard on Jesus 
and on my fellow warriors' prayers.  
please stay with me in prayer as 
i continue to fight this illness. 
would you keep my sons in your prayers, 
as this has been a difficult time for them 
while i've been so ill.  love, ann

"Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Lead me through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more."

Ann enjoyed hearing the following story that was posted on her FB page and wanted to share with all of you.

  • Some of you have heard our story...some of you were there...others may not know...

    GOD Did It!

  • I was the typical single girl living in Dallas in the '80's, 
  • working in downtown Dallas at an oil company by day, 
  • going to the numerous bars and dance clubs by night. 
  • I remember several people asking me during these years: 
  • "Grace, when are you going to start living for God? 
  • When are you going to stop looking in all the wrong places to meet men?"

  • My reply was always, "I am having too much fun right now, I will one day…
  • Don't worry about me!" God was working on me, though. 
  • He used heartbreaks and other disappointments that always left me feeling alone and empty. 
  • I see now how He kept calling me to Himself. He even used a sweet lady at my job. 
  • She came to me one day and said, "Grace, they need people 
  • to sing in the choir at First Baptist down the street.” 
  • I replied: “And your point is?" "Well,” she said, 
  • “I know you like to sing and I just thought you might like to go to the practice. 
  • It's Thursday."

    “Fine,” I thought, “I will go.” I don't know why, but I did. 
  • It was pretty funny after the practice when some of the friendly members said, 
  • “See you Sunday morning, Grace!" "What? Why?” 
  • I stuttered. “Sunday,” they replied, “you know,
  •  the day we sing in church all the songs we just practiced!"

  • So I joined the choir and began attending the church, where the beloved pastor, 
  • W. A. Criswell, would often shout, “And GOD did it!” 
  • after recounting remarkable deeds of the Lord. 
  • Months went by and I started going to a Singles Sunday School class. 
  • I remember seeing the tall, funny seminary student teaching. 
  • “He seems nice, cute, and has a great personality,” 
  • I thought, “but...he could never be interested in a girl like me.” 
  • Through a small group Bible Study, lead by another great seminary guy, 
  • and the choir's amazing Easter play, I finally understood what Christ did, for me, 
  • for MY sin. I truly became repentant and sorry for my life, for my sin—
  • I finally got it. He wanted ALL of me.

    Slowly the "fun" at the clubs became less and less appealing. 
  • My heart was focused on God. Oh, and that tall, funny seminary guy! 
  • But that guy was not interested. I tried everything…making him dinner, 
  • hosting the Bible Study, showing up on the visitation nights to church 
  • visitors that he would always go out on, and conveniently needing a ride home 
  • from downtown back to my car. Almost two years went by and…nothing. 
  • A good friend knew my frustration and suggested I tack a Scripture verse, 
  • Psalm 37:4, to the wall in front of me at work to read when I was down, which I did.

    FBC had great speakers and one of them, Ann Kiemel-Anderson, 
  • came and told us how when she was 35 years old, 
  • God had put together her—an independent Boston marathon runner-author—
  • and an Idaho potato farmer in marriage. “Hmmm,” I thought, 
  • looking I across the room at tall seminary guy, 
  • who was fiercely taking notes as she spoke. I closed my eyes at that moment and prayed. 
  • "Lord, please find ME a husband, 
  • OR, please make me content with being single. 
  • Surely, it must not be ‘him,’ but if you can find that lady a husband in Idaho, 
  • surely you can find me one Dallas!" 
  • FINALLY I let go of it and started resting, trusting in His will for me.

    Not long after this, tall seminary guy and I were at a Wednesday night service.
    He turned to me and asked, "Do you eat lunch after Church on Sunday?" 
  • "Eat lunch?” I said, “yes, why?" "Well would you like to go?” he said.
  •  "You mean, like a DATE?" I said, clarifying the offer! 
  • "Yes,” he said. I remember going to the ladies room with a friend, 
  • and literally screaming, "John Dwyer just asked me out on a date!"

    He took me to lunch on May 8, 1988 and we spent as much time together 
  • as we could during days and evenings from then until June 24th. 
  • That night, he asked me to go to the top of Reunion Tower for dinner. 
  • All the time we spent together, he had never kissed me. 
  • We had both done relationships the wrong way in the past 
  • and he said he wanted to do this one different. 
  • As the sun was setting that beautiful June evening, 
  • I asked how he started "having feelings" for me. 
  • "It was that day when that lady Ann Kiemel-Anderson spoke,” he said.
  •  “I just looked across the room 
  • at you and started ‘liking’ you.”

    He then told me for the first time that he LOVED me and recited First Corinthians 13 to me—
  • the whole chapter. Right then the waiter delivered a dozen yellow roses to the table 
  • and John asked me to marry him! I replied, "Only if I get to KISS you first!"—
  • which I did, outside on the Reunion breezeway 560 feet over Dallas. 
  • We were married on August 13, 1988 in the beautiful sanctuary of 
  • First Baptist Church of Dallas. Happy Valentine’s Day, tall, funny seminary guy!

    “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
    —Psalm 37:4

If any of you would like to share a story/memory of how Ann's ministry has touched your life, please post on Ann's FB page and we will use in some of her blogs while she is fighting this battle with her health.  Ann would love to read your stories. 

Friday, February 14

We continue to bring you excerpts from Ann's books through the years.  She cares so much about staying connected even when she is not personally able to blog at this time.  Thank you for your prayers for Ann.

Excerpts from "YES"   Ann Kiemel  1978

when things i once thought were gain,
i now count as loss.
i have put aside all else, counting it worth
less than nothing, in order that
i can have Christ. . .
and become one with Him. . .

i don't mean to say i am perfect.  i haven't
learned all i should even yet,
but i keep working toward that day
when i will be all that Christ saved me for
and wants me to be.

no. . . i am still not all i should be
but i am bringing all my energies to bear
on this one thing:
forgetting the past
looking forward to what lies ahead,
i strain to reach the end of the race
and receive the prize. . .
                                     philippians 3:7, 12, 13

this is my spiritual autobiography.  i want to allow
myself to be vulnerable.  i want to be brave.  i want
to say to you, in specific, genuine illustrations:
i am human.
i fail.  struggle.  get scared.  have hurts.  am lonely.
but. . .
i am standing with my face to the sunrise.  my back
against the wind.  my head high.  my heart
sturdy and strong.  i am committed.  i am
truly whole.  Jesus Christ is the highest
Fulfillment and Joy in life.

i want this book to be, to the glory of Jesus Christ,
my "will and testament," my statement
of the power of Christ in one, everyday,
ordinary young life

to tomorrow.
fresh dreams.
higher mountains.
greater impossibilities.
wider sunrises.
stouter courage.
braver risks.

i'm human.
i fail. . . feel insecure. . .cry.
i hurt, struggle.
get scared.
know inadequacy.
i'm single.  a woman.
i long for a man.
i am tempted.

sometimes, i forget Who has led me
to where i am.
forget that i am a servant and
not a hero.
forget that "if we lose our life, we will find it."
that those who seek will find.

to the Cross.
to obedience. . .honesty. . .
reality. . .earnest heart.
to joy and sorrow.
ease and difficulty.
success and failure.
to forgiving.
to saying things that edify.

because Jesus is the divine Yes.
because He changes everything.
He is my highest Fulfillment.
He's made me whole. . .
takes the bad and turns it to good.
He is my Song. . .
my Reason to live.

for to me, to live is Christ.

Thursday, February 13

Excerpts from "I'm Running To Win"  Ann Kiemel, 1980

in a race, everyone runs but only one person
gets first prize.  so run your race to win.
to win the contest you must deny yourselves
many things that would keep you from 
doing your best. an athlete goes to all
this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a sliver cup.
but we do it for a heavenly reward that never
disappears. so i run straight to the goal with
purpose in every step.  1 corinthians 9:24-26

every morning, i wake up with a prayer:
"Jesus, i am just ann. my city is so big.
make me creative. give me ideas for my 
corner of the world."

shortly after the 1979 boston marathon, and
meeting bev wenshau, a young mother from
minneapolis and a five-time marathoner, i 
woke up one morning and thought,
"i know, Jesus...i could become a runner
and meet all the runners in my city...
and sing them songs and touch them where
they hurt, be a friend, maybe, someday, i can run
the boston marathon."
(well, You and i, Jesus)

i did realize at the start that i came from a totally
nonathletic family.  that i had never been a runner.
that i was thirty-four years old.
inherent in that tiny seed dream was the definite
possibility of failure. of never making it into
any marathon, especially the olympics of
marathons: boston.
of suffering and being vulnerable before the world,
and probably misunderstood...and falling short
of the goal.

that is the way it is with dreams.
with being faithful.
giving one's best every day.

it is not:
"Jesus, i will be deeply committed to You if You'll
heal my brother...or increase my salary...or give me
that new house...or make me famous."
it is, rather:
"Jesus, i will follow You to the end.
no guarantees asked.
no special rewards except that You will be at the end
of the road to meet me when i get there...
and i will know that i have lived my life out in truth.
whatever is along the road...during the race...
"yes" to it. to anything You bring into my life.

                        * * * * * * * * * * * * 

running is like finding Jesus
you start out with so much enthusiasm...
so excited and exhilarated.
so much momentum.
ready to become a great runner.
what you don't know then is that it
doesn't happen overnight.
it takes hours of courage and pain and hard work.
standing alone.
putting more into the effort than anyone else

it is one thing to find Jesus and another to commit
one's life to Him and follow Him day in and day out
without demanding any promises or guarantees.
just following Him because you love Him.

it is hard to drag my body out
morning after morning...
especially on mornings like this
when it is gray and cloudy outside
and so cozy inside.
it is hard to be disciplined and keep my eye on
the mark instead of on how i feel.

Jesus, i do this in Your strength.

                      * * * * * * * * * * * * 

i like faithfulness
i like being disciplined in running
because it helps me to be disciplined
in the other areas of my life.

i really believe that if we discipline ourselves
in one area, it spills over
and affects all the other areas.
the more i'm disciplined in my running
the more i'm disciplined in my eating...
in my Bible study...
in my exercise habits...
in my love for others.
it all falls together.
the more i look to God for obedience
to follow Him...
not my physical desires...
or my ego needs...
the more He is the fulfillment.

last night someone asked me again about
loneliness and what i do with it.
i think there is only one answer to loneliness:
give your life away....
be a servant.

it's true...
if we lose our lives, we find them.
if we serve, we live.
people go to parties...drink...beat their 
brains out in an office...try to look beautiful...
just trying not to be lonely.
what they don't know is if they give
their lives away
and spend their lives touching over people...
meeting needs...
healing hurts...

they are sustained and comforted and filled
with excitement and adventure...
and the loneliness gone...lost.

today, Jesus, make me a servant.

Tuesday, February 11

Excerpt from "It's Incredible"  Ann Kiemel, 1977


you would love this little lady.
ninety-seven years old!
when i met her, she was "out back" lifting
heavy rock, trying to landscape one little
piece of her yard that she thought looked

i noticed her hands,
creased and worn, but perfectly
steady.  she never used glasses to read
ANYTHING.  her hearing was perfect.
well-dressed and groomed, she lived alone,
and did all her own housecleaning.

at ninety-seven, she is still painting large canvases
with bright, vivid colors
and selling them.
she makes beautiful rugs,
designed by herself, a marvelous garden flourishes
in the back yard.  a couple of years ago, only because
of her age, they took her driver's license away.

you've been a performer--pianist and singer,
you're an established artist. . . and have traveled
out of all your experiences in life, what has given
you the greatest satisfaction?"

"my garden..."

colors and perfumed petals and little buds sprouting
and fresh tomatoes and small, red beets and
spring onions...

"what do you dislike?"

"DISLIKE?" her face in a deep frown and her voice snapping.

"well, you know . . . washing dishes or ironing or
scrubbing or cleaning up your yard..."

"whatever there is to be done, I LIKE IT!"

her two favorite things are wood and manure.

"things grow so well in manure...and just about
anything wonderful can be created with wood..."

what an extraordinary human being.
she believes she was born to be creative with every day
in her life. . . . that God believes in hard work, 
and a positive spirit, there should be much wonder
and joy over watching things grow,
in the out-of-doors.

faithfulness to create the MOST with all the talents
He has given brings responsibility and a sense of
even when it's down-home hard work.

often i've read the story in the new testament
about Jesus and the talents.  suddenly, i think i
understand exactly what He meant.  He will judge us
not by how good someone else is,
or by how spectacularly we measure out one day.
He will watch our lifelong endeavor to take
EVERY day and every hour and put whatever
our best is into it.
maybe no one around will pat us on the back,
or praise us, but HE KNOWS.

Monday, February 10

Excerpts from:  "I'm Celebrating"  Ann Kiemel

i am going to change my world.
you watch.
you'll see.
because i have a giant of a Lord
inside of me,
and He and i, with love,
will push through the barriers.
i'm not afraid.

i am Jesus to the world around me.
you are.
His heart and hands and eyes and voice
and spirit of honesty and care.
you and God and i . . . a team.
we can love the world to joy, and meaningful and
brand new tomorrows.
Jesus dreamed we would.

i stand before Christ and the world.  
my heart shouts an affirmation:
"Jesus, i am a humble, lowly servant woman.
take me . . . all of me.
add anything.  take away anything.
at any cost.  with any price.
make me Yours. completely. . . wholly.
may i not be remembered for
how i wear my hair
or the shape of my face
or the people i know
or the crowds i've addressed.
may i be known for loving You. . . 
for carrying a dream. . .
for building bridges
to the hurt and broken and lost in the world.
make me what You would be be if You lived
in Person where i do.
may everything accomplished through my simple
life bring honor and glory to You.
take my human failures and flaws,
and use them to remind these who know me
that only You are God,
and i will always just be ann.

i'm going where He goes . . .
out into the world of lonely people.
"sir, can i take your hand?
or yours, ma'am?
can i walk with you?
can i laugh with you and cry with you
and love you to Jesus?"

you just can't stop love.
it crushes barriers.
it breaks and builds bridges.
it finds a way through.
it never gives up.
it's hard work.
it listens.
it walks ten extra miles.
it's something you do.
Jesus did it for me.
He died to set me free.
He lives to share my life with me
and i go to His and my people
and love wins.

i celebrate you.
my friends.
fellow dreamers.
determined, faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
people who believe. who are not ashamed to say so.
who will not quit. who remain pure and uncontaminated
even when others beg you to compromise. who follow
your dreams and fight for them and die with them
so deeply enrooted in you that they spring up in
other voices and other hearts for centuries to come.

i celebrate because we stand together.
without being united, dreams cannot live.
as long as i breathe and move, and even in the 
darkness when i cannot move, 
i will celebrate most of all
the power, grace, patience and forgiveness of 
my loving Savior, Jesus Christ.
He is the author of all my dreams, of every song.

"surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the
days of my life..."

excerpt from "I'm Celebrating", 1979

Sunday, February 9

While Ann is in the hospital and unable to write her blogs, she so wanted to continue sharing with you.  We thought you might enjoy reading excerpts from Ann's books.  She thanks you so much for your prayers!

i love the word impossible...

it is like joy after sorrow.
people being friends after being enemies.
rainbows after drenching rain.
a wound healed.
sunsets on quiet evenings after hot, noisy days.

paralyzed, injured limbs, learning to grow strong and useful again.

forgiveness after wrong.
truth after fog.
new love-made babies.
birds learning to fly and own the sky.
bitterness turned to mellowness.
fresh, genuine hope ... once abandoned.
people finding each other at right moments,
in unexplained, obscure places...
for God-ordained reasons.

i love the word impossible because my God
believes in adventure
and extraordinary mountains, and He dares to
be alive in a world crawling with terrible situations.

He promises to be bigger than any impossibility
because He is love...and love always finds a way
through, in time.
love isn't scared.
it builds bridges instead of walls.
it never gives up.
it always hangs on.
it waits with stubborn, strong hope.
sometimes even years.

love makes God alive in far more than human souls.
like sun and clear sky and drooping branches
and dark birds and color and design and music...
and the sound of water on a shore.

IMPOSSIBLE means that i,
an ordinary young woman,
can be something special and significant
in an enormous, hurting world.
i can be love where i live,
and that is Christ...

and HE really does make ALL
the difference!

excerpt from:  I Love The Word Impossible  - Ann Kiemel

Saturday, February 8

Update on Ann

Since our last update, Ann was sent home from rehab with blood thinners to continue the process of dissolving the clots in her lungs.

Ann was home a short time and had to go back to the hospital as she is still very ill.

She wants you to know she loves you all so much and requests continued prayers. 

"YES, to anything.

to God's ultimate will being done in my life.

to anything, because Jesus can turn it all to good."

... excerpt from Ann's book, YES 

Tuesday, January 28

Update on Ann

before the dusty road of the Cross
Ann will be leaving to go home in a few days so she can rest and continue to recover. She will be taking blood thinners to try to dissolve the multiple blood clots in both lungs. It is so incredibly painful, her doctor, also a recovering addict, said she needed to be on pain meds to get through this. The doctor commented that he didn't realize she was going through more than withdrawal until she kept complaining of the pain she was in and they took a cat scan. That is when they discovered the multiple blood clots in her lungs. After Ann has had time to recover, she will be back to blog. She would appreciate continued prayers as she says she has never been this ill. Thank you so much for all your prayers for Ann.

Message from Ann

the uggs taylor brought to rehab.
a piece of one of my children.
i am so sorry i haven't been able to blog.
i have been and am still so ill.
there are no words to thank you for all your prayers.
because of your prayers, i am truly making it.

i've had the most wonderful nurses and some
of the best doctors.

jan is steady and holding her own.

Thursday, January 23

Ann is very ill and is not able to write new blogs right now.

She has asked for continued prayers as she undergoes treatment for multiple blood clots in her lungs, as well as heart and kidney concerns.  She would especially appreciate prayers that God would send her wonderful nurses, like Nataline, who are kind and understanding of what she is going through.  

Ann loves you and thanks you for all your love and prayers! 

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven." (Mat 18:19 NKJV)

12:09 a.m.

to all you beautiful friends
and fellow warriors....

thank you for your posts. all
the prayers mean the world to

i'm so ill i can barely write, but i
love you. and Jesus is the lover
and warrior of my life. freedom
and delivery from enslavement
come with a cost. i'm running
to win...!  never give up in the
middle of your battles. forever
with gratitude and love..ann

6:30 p.m.

keep running the race.
the race is sometimes
extremely rugged
and, at times, we think impossible.
so, be strong and join me as we
run for the goal of arriving at the celestial city
where there will be no suffering and pain.

i love you.  your prayers mean everything.
God is with me.

detox is hell.
you have to really want it.
have to believe it's your
only option. long for freedom
and deliverance

my blood tests taken...
in any detox situation..
revealed some concerns of
the hospitalist. not the detox
doctor. after a cat scan, they
discovered i have multiple blood
clots in my lungs, and something
attached to my heart.

i had developed terrible pain behind my ribs.
now i have been moved to
heart floor. please understand
i'm too ill to say more.

i know you are praying.
a miracle i was here...and
found this. God's faithful care.
very hard to be in detox
and so ill in my body.

Jesus keeps leading me all
the way. and you. this
Race is His to lead us on.

Wednesday, January 22

this is ann.
coming from the front lines
of drug rehab .

nothing since i came.
finally drew my blood.
said i am severely dehydrated.
could give me ibuprofen.

i refuse to panic.
to have terror shoot from my
eyes. to succumb to all the
what ifs.

every time i open my eyes,
there's a nurse peeking around
the corner. staring.  

"your hair..the braid around
your's beautiful."

lovely words are like
medicine. i smile. but the doctor
hasn't been here yet. there is
utterly excruciating pain behind
my rib cage.  

and the nurses smile.
and the patients holler.
and the doctor arrived.
an i.v. in place. my bladder
packed with fluid. but....
my heart is quiet. i won't
be afraid.

fresh potted flowers.
and i expect Jesus to see
me through to the end.
no more enslavement.
only deliverance and freedom.
sweet, sweet journey.

tomorrow will be continued.
thank you for your prayers.
oh..beautiful comrades.

happy birthday to my
nephew, tre.

we will meet again.

4:30 a.m.
my skin is crawling.
horribly. why did i do
this?!!!!  i want to unhook
the it out...and
run for my  life.

"Jesus!  save me.
make me tough." 

Sunday, January 19

in 48 hours, i will be
walking through the doors
to begin rehab. my clothes and necessities and
Bible are packed. ready to load.

health care today is an entirely
different fork in the road. there
we stood:  my sponsor, adela. the
initial intake guy...and the very
top facilitator re: who will be
accepted into the rehabilitation
program, and financially, reliable
enough to enroll.

four of us.
and Jesus.
the pin-point center
of my soul was as quiet
and still as fog that has suddenly
rolled in, and the possibility of
my acceptance looked dismal.

as if i was jumping out of an
airplane 10,000 feet up. if Jesus
didn't catch me, i would splatter
dead center at the bottom of the
grand canyon.

or, God could swoop His massive
arms under me, and save me.

"16 years ago," i began to share, "i
promised Jesus
that if He would deliver me
from my addictions, there was
nothing i wouldn't do for Him
the rest of my life. addictions to
performance and praise were
at the top of my list; pain pills
followed. Jesus kept His end of
the bargain. so did i. until.....

"after almost a year, and four
major surgeries on my feet,
and wild, crazy pain, i have
once again found myself
starving for freedom. pleading
for the sweet taste of deliverance
again. there is almost nothing
worse than being enslaved.
nothing. "

suddenly....almost sounded..
almost if a robe was blowing
in the wind, we all sensed someone
had entered the room. i saw
that the one who carried the
power among us, grabbed tissues,
and began blowing her nose. then,
we all had  tissue. we all began to

"ann, it has come to me that
if you could pay the half up front,
$3,850.00, and the rest at the
end of 30 days, we'd make you
the exception. and continue to
get medicare, and your supplement insurance to pay their part."


i have enough savings for the
first half. and God's arm is never
too short. it will take all i have,
but Jesus poured out all He had.

when Jesus enters a  room,
and no one can deny it,
"who am i that i should
choose my way? the LORD
shall choose for me.
tis better far i let
HIM bid me go or stay."

i plan to blog to you
every day. i long for your
prayers. a journey i can only
make if Jesus runs this course...
and sustains me. for each of us
entrapped in addiction, it takes
a Power greater than ourselves
to be set free.

unhinge the gates.
make the path smooth.
running from glory to glory.
flow, River, flow.

thank you.
thank you so.....for every
post of encouragement.
for every dollar given.
please forgive me for not
being better at showing
gratitude. for now, please
just know.


Wednesday, January 15

jan and i
have had a dark day.
sobbed. laughed. thought
of all we're both facing.
of all we are and aren't...

jan's numbers are up on her
cancer. the rehab. takes me
off everything. literally everything.
my insurance is an issue. trying
to resolve dollars and cents.

colson is home, and i'm thrilled..
but we're talking about a place
two hours away. for me, it's
all or nothing. i'm running
to Jesus. arms spread wide.
tears streaming down my

as a giant redwood,
piercing the sky. as mountain
peaks, jagged and splitting the millions of snowy,
shattering earth particles,
crushing the sun blasts through
the is the
begging, yearning of my soul.

"make a way, Jesus.
make a way..."

we all have work to do.  
and splitting of self introspection.....
and all of God we can grab ahold of...

sing, choirs.
walk and run
and carry your
weapons of loss and failure.
we will see you in the
morning. in the morning.