Seeing God’s Face

anna

36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38

 

Hi, there…. (squinching at the lights) I’m so happy to be here tonight! I’ve been asked to tell you about the day my ministry really took off…

You see it is never too late…for us old timers. I’ve put in a lot hours…(fastin’ and prayin) before I got my big break…

 

It didn’t happen like I thought it would. All that work, fasting, praying, why I was a churcha, I mean workaholic for the church…I mean I was a faithful, trustworthy, God fearing Jewish woman who followed all the rules! I was even known as a prophetess, one who could forsee the future.

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Wait a minute… I forgot my introduction… let me start over….”

My name is, Evangelist Anna. Anna is the Greek Version but actually came from Hanna, which means favor and grace. I’m from the tribe of Asher, which means happy.

In Deuteronomy, Moses prophesies that for the tribe of Asher, (my tribe), “your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:25).

My life shows evidence of that!

With all that being said you would think my life would be perfect! I am Jewish and I go to the Temple regularly, even 24/7 to pray and I’m usually ALWAYS fasting too. I love to serve Yeshua in the temple…

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It is my life… L_I_F_E -! Aah Life! LIVING_ IN_ FAITH_ EVERY DAY!

Why, Serving Him is what I was created to do. I come, I pray and I meditate on the Holy Scriptures… You see they are here and sometimes when no one is here but me, I will unroll them and hide them in my heart.

My father was Phanuel. His name meant Face of God. You will understand in a moment why that’s important.

When others talk about that day, my age is always mentioned! It’s even suggested that I was ancient! It has been of great discussion throughout the centuries. You see it is written that I was a widow of 84 years…. I was married for seven years before my husband passed…. And of course everyone tries to guess how old I was when I got married…. So, If I got married at 14, I could be maybe…105? Or some just think I was 84! What do you think? I think it really doesn’t matter, but what does matter is I had been around a long time and I had and continue to see a lot.

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There were many times the enemy tried to distract me from what I was really doing and from purpose and plan God had ordained for me from the beginning. I realize that listening is more important than talking. You just need to listen to God’s voice.

Along with listening, I was waiting…. Waiting for the day that God had promised to me. As a forseer I knew the day would come when I would realize my purpose for serving God would be revealed. It took a long time for me. Maybe it’s taking a long time for some of you too.

Is it taking a long time?

My husband died seven years after we were married. That’s when I started spending a lot of time alone with Yeshua. After he passed, God spoke to me and told me He would provide. And He has. It’s actually an honor and custom to take care of widows and orphans in the Jewish faith. I was blessed to have a family of believers at my side. I’d go to the Temple every day. To Fast, To Pray, To Read the Holy Scriptures! Yes, I was a woman who could read, and very highly regarded by my community.

Knoop, M.; An Old Woman Reading

My ministry took off after one long eternal look that changed my life forever…

It set my feet to dancin’! I know what you are thinking. She’s way too old… she’s probably a grandma… Grandma’s sit on the porch and baby sit. Let the young people do the dancin’ and preachin! Well, I’m living proof you are never too old! There is great debate over my age…. At the time… Is she 84 or 105? If she got married at 12 she could be 107!

BUT SHE DOESN’T LOOK THAT OLD!

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But that’s not the only reason I’m a little shocking! I’m quite infamous you know! Why in some churches today I would be considered eccentric, outlandish, out of place and even shameful! Being one of the first New Testament women evangelists! My name went down along with some others like Martha, Mary, oh and that Samaritan woman!

She was almost good as me, just kidding!

But one thing I know that my redeemer was alive, and continues to live…now and forever! No one is going to seal these lips…. I know who and what I saw that day!

You know some say women aren’t supposed to speak out, much less be one of the first to lay eyes on the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and the Creator of the Universe! Why that was shocking! But the truth is everyone was electrified that day.

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When I looked down into those beautiful little eyes, and touched those rosy red cheeks, I knew, yes I knew what, where, whom and why this little baby boy was here! Emmanuel the prince of peace… God was finally with us! Thousands of years of prophecy fulfilled in a little tiny baby boy.

Imagine this! My heart nearly exploded in my chest! Yes, it was mixed with great joy, and great sorrow at the same time. I knew my life purpose had just been fulfilled and my service was nearly over. But, I was ready! Ready to go home, because God had just unleashed every promise He had ever made me right then before my very eyes!

Joseph and Mary brought that baby in and when they entered the temple the atmosphere changed. It was if I had heard a clap of thunder break the sound barrier. Simeon saw, felt and heard it too… and most likely everyone else.

And then I watched and listened in wonder to Simeon. Simeon and I had been waiting, waiting a long time for the consolation of Israel.

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Simeon was full of the Holy Ghost and told me God had promised him, like me, that we would not see death before we saw the LORD’s Christ.

It was dedication day at the temple…. And when the young parents handed the baby to Simeon, Simeon began to bless God! Why he could barely contain himself! I thought to myself, well I’m the prophetess, but we were all blessing God! It was his jumping up and down that made me a little nervous….

Simeon was ancient like me, I was afraid he’d drop that baby! But he didn’t but I will never forget his words….

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33 And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

35Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

God himself spoke that day through Simeon and in one look from this Holy Child to us. I saw the Face of God! Praise God! My father Phanuel, that was what his name means Face of God!

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My Father, My Redeemer , My Husband was right before us all! What a glorious day!

Seeking God’s Treasure,

Marlene Hoenig
Cinderella Released from ashes to beauty to declare His Glory!

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You Are Beautiful And Who You Are Is Quite Enough

I’ve been studying to become a Crisis Counselor and also a trainer to teach TRE – Trauma Release Exercises.  Little did I realize two years ago that I would be putting these skills to personal use.  Over the past two and a half years I have been to three funerals, married and annulled, assaulted and abandoned, moved four times and have reoccurring bouts of chronic fatigue, and lymph system shut-downs! 

Statistically, I should be in a mental hospital or the grave!  Can I just say that I am so thankful that I serve  a risen Savior who has pulled me out of the darkness into the light.

For any of you out there that are depressed, sick and tired of being sick and tired, I can relate.  But, I have found in my 57 years of living on this planet that if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. He will take the past hurts, traumas and trials and turn them into beautiful times.

Tonight, He reminded me who I was in Him and how beautiful I am to Him.  The words to a Song, Beautiful I read once is “Beautiful is who you are and who you are is quite enough!”  Isn’t it awesome that whether we are in a mansion on the highest hill or in a shack in the valley filled with dung, that the Creator of the universe thinks about us and cares what happens to us!

I watched a beautiful family pitch in to give a young man and his beautiful bride a beautiful barn wedding in the country. Her daddy spent several sleepless nights at the location to insure his “beautiful” daughter’s dream wedding would come true. Here she is taking that last walk as a single woman with her daddy! Isn’t she beautiful?Image“Beautiful”
Bethany Dillon

I was so unique
Now I feel skin deep
I count on the make-up to cover it all
Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention
I thought I could be strong
But it’s killing me

Does someone hear my cry?
I’m dying for new life

[Chorus]
I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful

Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy
Trying to find whatever is missing
Won’t you help me back to glory

[Chorus]

You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful

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Jesus makes all things beautiful in HIS time.

Senseless Shootings in Colorado – Is God Still Merciful?


SO YOU STILL THINK GOD IS A MERCIFUL GOD?!

(Maybe, just maybe God spared my life because He loves YOU and wants you to hear this..He wants you to believe that He loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son that if you would believe in Him you would have eternal life.)

So, you still believe in a merciful God?”  Some of the comments online are genuinely inquisitive, others are contemptuous in nature. Regardless of the motive behind the question, I will respond the same way.

Yes.

Yes, I do indeed.

Absolutely, positively, unequivocally.

Let’s get something straight: the theater shooting was an evil, horrendous act done by a man controlled by evil.  God did not take a gun and pull the trigger in a crowded theater. He didn’t even suggest it. A man did.

In His sovereignty, God made man in His image with the ability to choose good and evil.

Unfortunately, sometimes man chooses evil.

I was there in theater 9 at midnight, straining to make out the words and trying to figure out the story line as The Dark Night Rises began. I’m not a big movie-goer. The HH and I prefer to watch movies in the comfort of our own home…where I can use subtitles and get a foot rub. I don’t like action movies. And I don’t like midnight showings.  But, as I wrote in my last post, parents sometimes make sacrifices for their kiddos and I decided I would take my fourteen year old and sixteen year old daughters who were chomping at the bit to see this eagerly anticipated third movie in the Batman Trilogy. Twice I had the opportunity to back out and twice I was quite tempted. But something in me said just go with your girls. I did.

So I was there with them, fidgeting in my seat, some forty or  fifty feet away from the man with the gun. It’s still a bit surreal, but I do know that when the seemingly endless shooting started, as my girls were struggling from whatever gas or chemical had been released, and we figured out what was happening, we hit the floor. I threw myself on top of my fourteen year old who was on the end of the row, straight up the aisle from the shooter.  In that moment, as the rapid-fire shots continued, I truly thought I was going to die. And I realized that I was ready. I have put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the redeemer of my soul, and there wasn’t the slightest doubt that I would be received into heaven, not because of any good thing that I have done but because of His merciful nature and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Still, as I lay over my daughter, I began praying out loud. I don’t even remember what I prayed, but I don’t imagine it really matters. I’m sure it was for protection and peace. It drew me closer into the presence of God. When there was a pause in the shooting, people began to clamor for the exits. The girls and I jumped up and joined the masses. We had to step over a lifeless body, not knowing where the shooter was. We raced to our car and I dumped my purse, frantically searching for keys, looking all around, prepared to hit the ground. I yelled at Michelle to call Matthew and find out if he had made it out of the theater next door. She did. He did. We booked on out of there.

Why would you think such a tragedy would make me question the goodness of God? If anything, both of my girls said it made Him a much more real presence to them; the youngest shared this verse: Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being caught.

He is not the cause of evil, but He is the one who can bring comfort and peace in the midst of evil.  It’s been amazing to see the outpouring of love from so many people after this unthinkable act.  Yes, there was one evil act, but it is being covered by thousands, possibly millions of acts of kindness.

We have not yet slept, so the girls and I are overtired and a bit emotional.  But overall, we are praising God and resting in His Goodness.   I love this word of wisdom and encouragement from a former pastor of mine:

Up to this point I haven’t had words to say that would matter. Of course we are all glad that you and the family are safe. Of course we would all state the obvious that this is horrific and senseless. But those words still don’t carry weight that remain in the midst of the questions. Then it hit me… Do you know what the difference was between Job and his wife in their response to the tragedy of losing everything… Job 1:20 Job was the only one that worshiped in the midst of it. Marie, I know your heart and I’ve seen your worship lived out before your family. Before the weight of this becomes unbearable… worship. Your profile pic was not coincidence, not by accident that you changed it on July 15th, but a beautiful foreshadowing of your need to hear the cry of your heart and give Him praise.  

Though we don’t have all the answers, we do indeed listen to the cry of our hearts: When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What  can mere man  do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

God is always good.

Man is not.

Don’t get the two confused.

We will continue to praise and worship our mighty God, anticipating that He will bring beauty from ashes, as only He can do.

If you want to know how to pray for us: first and foremost, we need sleep. Somehow our bodies seem too wired. We also want the life that God has graciously allowed us to continue to live to not be a gift given in vain, we want our lives to draw others closer to Him. We do not want fear to dominate, for God has not given us a spirit of fear. We want His joy to be seen and experienced in all that we do.

Pray for the families who lost loved ones, and for young people who witnessed such horror. Pray for this to be an opportunity for God to manifest Himself in mighty ways.

As for you…we will pray that YOU might know His goodness.

Still grateful for this wonderful life,

Marie

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