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Lessons I learned from Ann Mainse

I am pleased to welcome back my dear friend, Ann Mainse! Ann is as beautiful, sweet, loving and wise in person as she is on camera, and I am so privileged to have her in my life. And, Dan and I are blessed to be able to join them on camera now, on their brand new show A Better Us! Click the link to watch episodes that will strengthen your marriage! Many of you will remember Ann Mainse’s story on my blog about being friends with a future Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt. How neat to be able to say “I knew him when”. Of course, she pointed us to the one we really should be in awe of. Today’s blog though, is about her intimacy with the King of Kings. There is no better place to be than in God’s presence. There isn’t anyone better or higher to associate with – not even Mr. Pitt. No one else’s involvement in my life has impacted me the way God’s has. I am confident that Ann knows this truth for herself too, which is why she makes time for His Majesty. Moms, there is no better way to begin your day than quietly before the Lord. He will help you do your day well, and give you everything you need to succeed. And, it may just be your only moment of peace the rest of your day…

 

Just Stillness

My morning coffee… I look forward to that first cup. Most mornings, before our three children bring the sleepy house to life, I take my favourite mug to my favourite chair and spend a few quiet moments with God. I cherish this time, not because of the creamy hot liquid that revives my drowsy brain, or because of the peaceful and enticing quiet of my room. I treasure this place of solitude because I know Who is waiting for me. As I pour the steaming coffee, I feel Him nudging. As I’m walking up the stairs, I sense Him calling. And there, patiently waiting to spend a few quiet moments with me… is His Majesty, Almighty God. No fanfare. No ceremonies. Just stillness.

The privilege of His Presence is overwhelming. I slip into it gently. And quietly, I wait. Before I hear shouted, “I need you, Mommy!” I whisper, “I need you, Father.” And He is there. Always giving, He demands nothing of me. To Him, I’m not the ‘always-there-to-give-anything-Mom.” No, I am His precious child, for whom He gave Everything. And even the ‘mountain-grown flavour’ of my morning coffee doesn’t soothe and comfort me the way the sweet warmth of His Presence does. And there, I linger. But not for long…

Soon I hear the sleepy shuffle of bare feet in the hall. It’s that familiar stirring sound that reminds me of all the lunches I have to pack, the children I have to organize, the cleaning, the laundry, and the meals. But that’s OK. I feel myself smile as I realize that although my thoughts may not fall back on this cherished time for the rest of the day, I will continually be on HIS mind.

As we spend time in God’s Word today we’re reading from Mark chapter 4. What I love about this passage is that it starts out with Jesus and those closest to Him… alone. He had just told a story of a few seeds that produced a bumper crop, and the disciples wanted to know more. Verse 10…

“When they were alone, the twelve and others close to Him asked…” Mark 4:10-25 (The Voice)

Those people who were closest to Jesus weren’t satisfied to move on. They simply couldn’t leave… They had to be near Him. They wanted to know more. How many times have I had to be near Jesus? When in my life have I wanted to know Him more? Too often, I’m afraid those times come only as a result… of pain (but even then, He doesn’t mind). God is always there for us… waiting, listening, calling for us to come.

A few years ago, a famous news commentator asked Mother Teresa what she said to God when she prayed. With a distant smile she answered, “Nothing. I just listen.” Not satisfied with her answer, the reporter said, “Well, then what does God say to you?” She just looked at him and whispered, “Nothing. He just listens.”

To be absolutely, totally alone with God. There is nothing in the world more precious.

And maybe… right now… He’s waiting for you.

 

*Listen to Ann’s “Sincerely Yours” daily podcasts here at Faith Strong Today

*Find out more info on Ann and her husband Ron’s marriage ministry at Heart to Heart

 

Ann’s Carrot Pineapple Muffins

1 C White sugar (may replace 1/2 C Stevia)

2/3 C oil

2 lg eggs, beaten

1 1/2 C all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 C finely grated carrot (1 lg)

1 C crushed pineapple, drained

 

In beater bowl, combine sugar, oil and beaten eggs. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Add dry ingredients to the sugar and oil mixture and stir to moisten. Add grated carrots, pineapple and vanilla. Fill greased muffin cups to the top and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Yields 9-10 large muffins.

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I heard about this experiment once, where two groups of people were asked to submerge their hands into ice water. One group was given an end time. They knew they needed to last for 5 minutes. The other group was not given any time – just hold on as long

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