Listen … and Grow

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Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Faith comes from the listening. Hearing the Word spoken to us. And that’s not just a one-time affair, but a relationship of listening, acting and growing in our faith.

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A few weeks ago, I lay in bed late at night unable to sleep praying for my friend Debbie, a friend God wove into my life through our shared experience of cross-country adoption. Debbie and her family adopted a seven-year-old boy from Russia several years ago now, who tragically passed into heaven in December. My parents adopted a little fifteen month old from Romania, who I was privileged to meet in the orphanage beforehand. I also met his birth-family (he has five older brothers and sisters) on two separate occasions, as a nine-year-old just before the adoption while on a missions trip with my parents right after the fall of communism and as a nineteen-year-old with German friends helping me to locate them and arrange translation. That night in bed I prayed fervently that God would direct Debbie’s path, leading her where He wants her to go. And then I distinctly heard a little voice inside of me that said: “Go read the story of me feeding the five thousand.” And, so I did, thinking this was an answer to my prayer: but I soon discovered it was so much more.

Each of the blog posts that came from this one little nudge have challenged me, stretched me and exponentially grown my faith, hand-in-hand with the much-needed mentoring encouragement Debbie has given me along the way. And I’ve also been so blessed by messages from friends who’ve let me know how the same posts have spoken to them too. Yes, it came as an answer to a prayer for Debbie, but we know how God works: He loves to multiply His blessings in manifold ways.

And, it is this all and the beautiful miracles that have been occurring in Debbie’s life in the wake of her precious son, Roma’s departure for heaven in December, that have birthed an upcoming October Write 31 Days’ series on Miracles, together with repeated confirmations in sermons, worship songs and even words spoken by my three-year old. Bloggers and friends from three continents will be congregating to share of the stunning miracles God has performed in their lives on both my and Debbie’s blog. Many of our #FiveMinuteFriday friends will be contributing, but also many new faces. And for our Dutchies: one of my local friends is writing hers in Dutch  (I’ll be translating)…so make sure you drop in to read hers in the original language too!!

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So, I’d love to invite you all to join us and send your seeking/struggling-with-faith friends our way in October. We have asked each of our contributors to share who God became for them through the miracle. First and foremost this is about sharing who our Savior is.

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We believe God has led us here for a reason and that He wants to multiply His blessing through these testimonies to His power, compassion and deeply personal love:

When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” (John 6: 14 NIV)

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We would greatly appreciate your prayers for our contributors, Debbie and I. We know the enemy is not happy about this series and will do anything to discourage, belittle and silence us. But we are also trusting in our mighty Savior’s protection, provision and blessing as we step out in faith. Also feel free to grab the graphics on this page if you want to spread word about our upcoming series.

In preparation, I’ll be going quiet on my blog here (after responding to any comments), so I can spend more time in prayer. God bless you all in the coming days and I look forward to welcoming you back here for the series and dropping into your online homes to discover what God is doing in your lives.

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22 thoughts on “Listen … and Grow

  1. Hello Anna. Visiting you back from Five Minute Friday. I’m so sorry to hear of your friend’s tragic loss, but how wonderful that you are encouraging her and lifting her in prayer. It’s good to know that you are embarking on some writing challenges that will no doubt be an encouragement to many.

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    1. Thanks, Ann. Oh you know I think she’s encouraged me a lot more than I have her. She’s such an amazing woman of God and I’m so blessed to have gotten to know her better the last few weeks especially. We’re excited to see what God will do.

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  2. I’m sure it will be a great series. Look forward to reading the different stories and will be praying for those who read, that it reveals God to them in new ways.

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      1. Thanks, that would be great. I’m planning to do some work on the series this weekend so will hopefully have some graphics to share soon. Hoping to get the miracle post finished then too!

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  3. Anna, THIS: “Faith comes from the listening. Hearing the Word spoken to us. And that’s not just a one-time affair, but a relationship of listening, acting and growing in our faith.”

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  4. Anna, your quote is powerful! “..listening, acting, and growing in faith.” It’s what our walk with Him is about. And sometimes it’s just hard. Thank you for sharing. Also, I look forward to your series on miracles.

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  5. What a miraculous series that will be (pun attended)! What a faithful servant you are Anna, to follow through on God’s prompting so we all can learn, be, and grow in and with God.

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    1. Ha, ha! This one time, yes…but I’m not always…often convicted of moments I brushed off the nudge with excuses. I pray that God grows my heart into a fully undivided one that fears His Name above all else. Thanks for your sweet encouragement, Lynn.

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  6. Oh this series sounds like such a God-directed prompting! I well certainly keep you and Debbie in my prayers. I know that I was so blessed by the series that you and Wendy shared, interviewing those who had walked through brokenness, May the Lord bring His fresh anointing to your sharing of His Working! –Blessings and Hugs!

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  7. I’m looking forward to your series! It’s going to be so cool. I can feel it. Good on you for taking time away, to be quiet before the Lord and listen. I need to do the same. I know it.

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    1. Thanks, Marie. I think we all need to retreat at time…especially before and after major happenings. May our Savior refresh you as you retreat to sit at His feet.

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  8. Anna, first of all, I’m so sorry for Debbie. I’m praying for her and her family tonight. Secondly, the thing that stood out to me is that you are being so intentional about your upcoming series. Spending the extra time in prayer is the best way to prepare for a series on miracles. I’m looking forward to reading the posts and hearing how God is working. Thanks for your beautiful example.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers for Debbie, Jeanne. And thanks for your encouragement here. I’m looking forward to it too: some beautiful stories coming in already.

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